Wednesday, 20 July 2022


Winner Josh Sunn (Plainville, Conn.) Winner Josh Sunn (Plainville, Conn.) John DaDalt Photo


By: John DaDalt

Loudon, New Hampshire (July 15, 2022)………Scoring one of the biggest wins of his career in front of large crowd of boisterous spectators, Josh Sunn (Quechee, VT) was the winner of the 30-lap Friday Night Dirt Duels event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s Flat Track.

The win was Sunn’s third of the year and second in a row with the USAC-DMA midgets.

Sunn jumped into the lead at the start of the feature and never looked back. Justin Phillips took second place but was never able to challenge for the lead. The only caution of the race came on lap two when Mike Chaffee, Manny Dias and Brandon Piastka all went for the same real estate in turn one with Chaffee coming out on the losing end, spinning out to bring out the yellow flag.

With Sunn and Phillips running strong in the top two positions, Dan Piastka, Seth Carlson and Ralle Rookey fought over third, fourth and fifth. Rookey briefly got by his teammate Carlson, but Carlson came right back to take fourth. Carlson would eventually muscle his way by Piastka for third. Dias challenged Rookey for fifth late in the event but could not make the pass. The checker flew over Sunn with Phillips second followed by Carlson, D. Piastka and Rookey.

The winner was elated after the event. “It was a huge race to win in memory of Frank Manafort. JR (Mancini) owns the car and has busted his butt giving me a great car to drive. What an epic event in a huge environment and great facility. Thanks to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for having the USAC-DMA midgets here.”

Phillips’s second place finish came in his first full race of the year. He raced at Albany-Saratoga Speedway in June but had engine problems. “Not bad for a part-timer. This was our second race of the season, and we had an engine failure the first time out, so I felt like I was still knocking the rust off. The car felt great, though we’ll need to find a little more speed to grab the top spot. Huge thank you to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for putting us on the track and for making major improvements to the track since our first time there. I also want to thank my father and Jim Sheridan for all the hard work on my car after the issues we had at the last race. Really happy to put in a strong finish for Ray Miller Racing.”

Since finishing fifth at the season opening race, Carlson has rattled off six straight top three finishes. “We set the car up a little tighter than was comfortable early in the race with hope of some late race cautions. With about ten laps to go the car started freeing up and feeling pretty good but we were just too far behind the top two.”

Dan Piastka, who won the June race at the Flat Track, had a steady run in fourth place. Ralle Rookey had his best race of the year running as high as fourth before finally finishing fifth. Manny Dias and Brandon Piastka raced to sixth and seventh, respectively.

In the tough night category were Nikki Ouellette who had a flat tire end her race. She was still able to run four laps on the flat tire without losing a position. Mike Chaffee also had a trying night. One of the few who dared to run the middle of the track, Chaffee spun early in the race but worked his way back to eighth spot before dropping out on the last lap. Engine trouble put Jeff Horn’s car on the trailer after his heat race and Will Hull’s car wouldn’t fire and he was unable to compete.

Kudos to Mark Hann for his effort in working with New Hampshire Motor Speedway and the DMA in setting this event up.

The next USAC-DMA midget race is July 30 at Bear Ridge Speedway, Bradford, VT.




USAC SPEED2 DIRT MIDGET ASSOCIATION SPECIAL EVENT RACE RESULTS:  July 15, 2022 – Flat Track at New Hampshire Motor Speedway – Loudon, New Hampshire

FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Scott Holcomb (#1H Shookus), 2. Mike Chaffee (#18 Miller), 3. Justin Phillips (#16 Miller). NT

SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Seth Carlson (#4 Matczak), 2. Brandon Piastka (#7 Miller), 3. Josh Sunn (#76 Mancini). NT

THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Manny Dias (#42 Dias), 2. James Fitzgerald (#55 Netishen), 3. Ralle Rookey (#50 Matczak). NT

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Josh Sunn, 2. Justin Phillips, 3. Seth Carlson, 4. Dan Piastka, 5. Ralle Rookey, 6. Manny Dias, 7. Scott Holcomb, 8. Brandon Piastka, 9. Mike Netishen, 10. Jake Trainor, 11. Todd Mable, 12. Wayne Koehler, 13. James Fitzgerald, 14. Mike Chaffee, 15. Joey Chick, 16. Nikki Ouellette, 17. Alex Rose. NT

ALSO AT THE TRACK: Jeff Horn, Jim Mossman & Will Hull

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-30 Josh Sunn.

NEXT USAC SPEED2 DIRT MIDGET ASSOCIATION RACE: July 30, 2022 – Bear Ridge Speedway – Bradford, Vermont