Monday, 20 July 2020


Winner Seth Carlson (Stafford, Connecticut) Winner Seth Carlson (Stafford, Connecticut) John DaDalt Photo


By: John DaDalt

Bradford, Vermont (July 18, 2020)………With a mix of patient and aggressive driving, Seth Carlson worked his way from his 10th place starting spot to take the lead from Justin Sheridan on lap 17 and went on to a nearly two second victory in the USAC-DMA midget race Saturday night at Bear Ridge Speedway.  It was Carlson’s first win of the year.

Owen Carbee led the first three laps of the feature from the pole as the field exchanged positions behind him.  Justin Sheridan emerged from the pack to take the lead on lap three.  Racing was tight behind him as the top five would edge by one another with none holding an advantage over the other for long.

Sixth starting Pierson charged into the third spot on lap four and soon moved up to challenge Sheridan never letting him get too far ahead over the next ten laps.  Carlson had used the high groove to break into the top five by lap four, from there he picked off Dias and Carbee and slowly gained ground on the leaders.

Carlson was starting to put pressure on Pierson and Sheridan when the caution flew on lap 15.  On the restart, Carlson outmuscled Pierson for second and chased after Sheridan.  After a brief battle, Carlson took the lead in turn four on lap 17 with a clear track ahead.

Pierson went after Sheridan for second until he got over the inside berm in turn two flipping his car into the infield.  The race resumed after the red flag with Carlson unchallenged for the win.  Sheridan finished second, Manny Dias third, Brandon Piastka fourth and Jeff Horn fifth.

A third-place finish on opening night was a good beginning to the race season but Carlson knew changes were needed.

“We made some radical changes to the car this week, some things we have never tried before,” Carlson said.

He didn’t divulge any details, but suffice to say, the changes worked.  Despite daytime temperatures in the 90’s and a blazing sun, the track surface was in good condition for the feature.  In fact, lap times were about two seconds faster than they were at the last race.  This suited Carlson just fine.

“The track was a bit faster which definitely plays more to my driving style,” Carlson said.  “Justin Sheridan was pretty quick; we had a good battle for a few laps.  Every week it seems like the competition gets stronger.”

Car owner Skip Matczak added, “I was very pleased with Seth’s performance he did a good job.”

Sheridan, meanwhile, was happy to finish second.

“Much better than the last time we were here,” Sheridan said, referring to his heat race roll at Bear Ridge three weeks ago.  “I knew I had to get to the lead quick because some of the fast guys were behind me and weren’t going to wait.  My car had good balance and I was able to get a good start, get aggressive and use the top and bottom to get through the leaders.  After I got the lead, I kept running my line.  Right before the caution I could hear someone behind me and figured it was Seth.  At the restart he (Carlson) used his experience to run the top and started to run away from me.  I was pushing a bit hard to get back to him and made a few mistakes.  After the red, I just tried to run my own race again and was happy to come home second and get my first podium.  Very thankful to Ray Miller for giving me an opportunity to race for him and for Bear Ridge and the DMA for giving us a track to race at.”

Opening night’s top-two finishers experienced mechanical issues in their own mounts relegating them to back up rides.  The Matczak #3 of Will Hull had a cracked water reservoir while Justin Phillips had engine problems in his Ray Miller owned #16.  Hull stepped into the Matczak #2 and Phillips bumped teammate Joe Krawiec from the Miller #1.  Both failed to finish the feature.

Seymour Performance Products heat race winners were Jeff Horn and Manny Dias.  The next USAC-DMA race will be at Bear Ridge Speedway on Saturday, July 25.


USAC DIRT MIDGET ASSOCIATION RACE RESULTS:  July 18, 2020 – Bear Ridge Speedway – Bradford, Vermont

FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. A1-Jeff Horn, 2. 7-Brandon Piastka, 3. 50-Owen Carbee, 4. 91-Wayne Koehler, 5. 5-Tim West, 6. 55-Mike Netishen.

SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. 42-Manny Dias, 2. 17-Justin Sheridan, 3. 33-Melvin Pierson, 4. 4-Seth Carlson.

FEATURE: (25 laps) 1. Seth Carlson, 2. Justin Sheridan, 3. Manny Dias, 4. Brandon Piastka, 5. Jeff Horn, 6. Wayne Koehler, 7. Tim West, 8. Melvin Pierson, 9. Will Hull, 10. Owen Carbee, 11. 1-Justin Phillips, 12. Mike Netishen, 13. Adam Whitney.

**Melvin Pierson flipped on lap 21 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-3 Owen Carbee, Laps 2-16 Justin Sheridan, Laps 17-25 Seth Carlson.

USAC DIRT MIDGET ASSOCIATION POINTS: 1-Seth Carlson-146, 2-Manny Dias-136, 3-Brandon Piastka-127, 4-Justin Sheridan-126, 5-Will Hull-116, 6-Justin Phillips-109, 7-Wayne Koehler-105, 8-Tim West-102, 9-Melvin Pierson-90, 10-Owen Carbee-66.

NEXT USAC DMA MIDGET RACE:  July 25 – Bear Ridge Speedway - Bradford, Vermont