Monday, 27 September 2021


Winner Justin Phillips (West Suffield, Conn.) Winner Justin Phillips (West Suffield, Conn.) John DaDalt Photo


By: John DaDalt

Bradford, Vermont (September 25, 2021)………Justin Phillips of West Suffield, Conn. Concluded the season with his third win of the season Saturday night at Bradford, Vermont’s Bear Ridge Speedway while the season concluded with Seth Carlson of Stafford, Conn. claiming his second straight USAC DMA Midget championship.

The racing was divided into three segments with points being awarded by finishing position in each segment. The lowest number of points for all three races was the winner of the event.

Justin Sheridan dominated the first segment after leading all ten laps followed by Mike Chaffee and Justin Phillips. Daniel Piastka led the first three laps of the second segment before Seth Carlson took over to lead the remainder of the race.

Mike Chaffee jumped into the lead at the start of the final segment. Chaffee looked like he would be tough to beat, leading the first ten laps before dropping out with mechanical problems. Phillips then took over and held off repeated attempts by teammates Justin Sheridan, Joe Krawiec and Brandon Piastka over the last ten laps as the Ray Miller Racing teammates went toe to toe for the win.

Phillips took down the victory which gave him a total of 10 points for the three segments tying him with Justin Sheridan and Seth Carlson for the overall. With the tiebreaker being the finishing order of the final segment, Phillips was declared the winner and was a grateful winner after the event.

“It was an interesting night for us. I don’t think we had the strongest car all night, but things fell our way and we were able to pick up our third win of the season. Congrats to Seth on the well-deserved championship. A huge thank you to Ray and all of Ray Miller Racing. We had a great year and had a lot of fun working together all season. I’d like to dedicate this win to Rich Wood Sr. He recently passed and had a huge impact on me and a lot of my friends in the racing community.”

Sheridan’s win in the first segment and second place overall continued a strong late season run highlighted by his first win back on July 31.

“I appreciate Ray Miller and Zettie Shookus giving me a chance to race for them. It was a great last race and overall season for all of Miller Racing and I’m glad to be a part of that. Congrats to Seth on the championship and to Justin on his third win of the season. I feel we had a chance at the overall, but I stared at the tail tank of the #16 (Phillips) for about 35 laps between the last two segments and didn’t have the speed to get around him. I’m proud of the improvements we made throughout this year and to be able to share a podium with those guys and hope we carry some momentum over to the 2022 season.”

Carlson won the second segment and finished third overall. It was his eighth podium in ten races – a solid season that wrapped up a second straight series championship. “The season was good; we had a consistent car week in and week out. I have to thank Seals-It, Skip Matczak, Lloyd, Karl, Tom Paul Carlson and my wife Kendall for all the support this year.”

Carlson’s car owner Skip Matczak summed up the year when it was all over.

“First, I would like to thank Butch and April Elms for their continued support of the DMA and of course our dedicated members who provided a very competitive race season. The points battle was a tough fight to the end with everyone working hard to gain the championship, but in our case, we proved that there is no I in the word team. Tom Rodzen, Lloyd Burnham, Paul Carlson and Karl Sentivany continued to provide Seth with a strong entry.

Of course, what can one say about the “Bull Dog” Seth Carlson in his spirited charges to the front,” Matczak continued.  “When challenged, we watched Seth pull the seat belts extra tight and then put out an exceptional effort, many times rendering a good finish and gaining points against a strong field of real racers. As team owner it was a great feeling to win the USAC Dirt Midget Association championship and both Seth and the team look forward to the Bear Ridge and USAC banquets.”

Expectant father Joe Krawiec will be stepping away as the driver of Ray Miller’s #1B next year. The two-time (2011, 2013) champion of the USAC DMA midgets had an excellent season, winning two races and finishing second In points. Krawiec echoed his teammates sentiments after the race.

“I’ve got to thank Ray and Zettie for giving me this amazing opportunity and my teammates for their help and late night good times after the races. It was definitely a tough track last night, but it was great to end the night racing side by side with my teammates and see them on the podium.”

The USAC DMA midgets would like to thank Butch and April May Elms and the staff at Bear Ridge and Albany-Saratoga Speedways for their support in making the 2021 season a successful one. And a thanks to all the competitors who raced with the series this year.”




USAC DIRT MIDGET ASSOCIATION RACE RESULTS:  September 25, 2021 – Bear Ridge Speedway – Bradford, Vermont

QUALIFYING: 1. Seth Carlson, 4, Matczak-14.505; 2. Justin Sheridan, 17, Miller-14.507; 3. Mike Chaffee, 18c, Miller-14.671; 4. Daniel Piastka, 7, Miller-14.671; 5. Brandon Piastka, 7, Miller-14.683; 6. Josh Sunn, 76m, Mancini-14.683; 7. Justin Phillips, 16, Miller-14.753; 8. Derrick O’Hearn, 4x, Matczak-14.793; 9. Jeff Horn, A1, Horn-14.803; 10. Joe Krawiec, 1B, Miller-14.868; 11. Manny Dias, 42, Dias-14.968; 12. Joe Chick, 5c, Chick-15.452; 12. Manny Dias, 2c, Matczak-16.196.

FIRST SEGMENT: (10 laps) 1. Justin Sheridan, 2. Mike Chaffee, 3. Justin Phillips, 4. Seth Carlson, 5. Joe Krawiec, 6. Josh Sunn, 7. Brandon Piastka, 8. Jeff Horn, 9. Daniel Piastka, 10. Joe Chick, 11. Derrick O’Hearn. NT

SECOND SEGMENT: (15 laps) 1. Seth Carlson, 2. Daniel Piastka, 3. Brandon Piastka, 4. Joe Krawiec, 5. Josh Sunn, 6. Justin Phillips, 7. Justin Sheridan, 8. Mike Chaffee, 9. Jeff Horn, 10. Derrick O’Hearn, 11. Joe Chick. NT

THIRD SEGMENT:  (20 laps)   1. Justin Phillips, 2. Justin Sheridan, 3. Joe Krawiec, 4. Brandon Piastka, 5. Seth Carlson, 6. Josh Sunn, 7. Daniel Piastka, 8. Jeff Horn, 9. Derrick O’Hearn, 10. Mike Chaffee, 11. Joe Chick. NT

OVERALL FINISH: 1. Justin Phillips, 2. Justin Sheridan, 3. Seth Carlson, 4. Joe Krawiec, 5. Brandon Piastka, 6. Josh Sunn, 7. Daniel Piastka, 8. Mike Chaffee, 9. Jeff Horn, 10. Derrick O’Hearn, 11. Joe Chick. NT

FIRST SEGMENT LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-10 Justin Sheridan.

SECOND SEGMENT LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-3 Daniel Piastka, Laps 4-15 Seth Carlson.

THIRD SEGMENT LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-10 Mike Chaffee, Laps 11-20 Justin Phillips.