Sunday, 20 September 2020


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


Bradford, Vermont (September 20, 2020)………Seth Carlson of Stafford, Conn. put the icing on the cake by winning two of three segments and finishing first overall at Bear Ridge Speedway Saturday night. The win was Carlson’s fifth of the season with the USAC DMA midgets and it sewed up the 2020 championship for Carlson and the Seals-It team.

The race was broken up into three segments. Ten, 15 and 20-lap features with the overall winner being the driver with the best finishes. Floyd Billington started on the front row of the 10-lap segment and ran away with the race leading every lap.

Some of the best racing of the night took place behind him as Justin Sheridan, Brandon Piastka and Seth Carlson traded positions over the last five laps before Carlson took second on the last lap. Ray Miller Racing teammates Sheridan, Piastka and Joe Krawiec rounded out the top five.

Billington has shown some speed at times this year as he has become more comfortable in the midget. The segment win and overall second place finish were Billington’s best finishes of the season. Afterward, Billington spoke about his night.

“(The) track was fast and a little rough, I have to thank Will Hull for helping me get some speed in the car. I also want to thank Butch Elms for his dedication for being at the track promoting the race last night one week after being hit by a car. I hope for a speedy recovery. The midget guys are a good group of guys and fun to run with. We give each other a lot of respect.”

The night wasn’t over for Billington, though. After the midget main, he strapped into his SCONE sprint car and won their main event to make for a great night.

After a pause, the 15-lap segment rolled out with the field inverted based on the finish of the first segment. Defending USAC DMA midget champion Hull jumped into the Matczak number two usually driven by Scott Holcomb when Hull developed a power steering leak in his Seals-It number three in hot laps.

Hull shot out of the pack from the green flag and into second place by lap two. Hull took the lead from Brandon Piastka on lap five and was looking strong. Carlson was moving up through the field and began to chase down his teammate. The two Seals-It drivers went at it for many laps with Hull maintaining his lead until the final corner when coming off turn four to the finish Hull got loose and Carlson got by for the segment victory.

The final segment was set for 20 laps with the field inverted again. Justin Phillips was the early leader in this race while Carlson hit the high side of the track and hammered his way up to Phillips. The inevitable pass for the lead came on lap seven and from that point on Carlson was not to be caught winning the race by 4.1 seconds over Phillips. When the points were totaled up. The overall finish was Carlson first and Billington second followed by Hull, Piastka and Krawiec.

The win topped off a great season by Carlson and the Seals-It team. In eight races they won five and never finished below third. Carlson summed up the night and the season after the races.

“The night was good; we really have found some speed with our Spike chassis this year and I’m more comfortable in this car than any dirt midget I’ve driven before. I have to thank (car owner) Skip Matczak for building us some really reliable motors for this year, they didn’t miss a beat and that goes a long way. Skip, Lloyd, Karl, Tom and my Dad are a big help to this Seals-It race program every week. We couldn’t do it without those guys. I’d like to thank Seals-It, FK Bearings and Kirkey Racing Seats for their continued support throughout 2020.”

Championship car owner Matczak was very satisfied with the season despite its challenges.

“Thanks to Butch and April and all of the Bear Ridge staff that we were able to enjoy racing at Bear Ridge and Albany. Butch Elms’ help throughout the year was wonderful. The competition was tough this year, but our team never gave up, put in long hours, and kept a good attitude through the entire year. Seth put out an incredible amount of energy to win the championship. He had been close many times but this was the year. Karl Sentivany, Tom Rozden, Paul Carlson and Lloyd Burnham make up the at home group while Will and Erin Hull work on the the 3-car from their shop in Vermont. Tim and Charlene West take care of the 5-car, so as you can see, it’s a diverse group. We thank all who helped make this championship possible and remind all our friends that we serve hot dogs and beans for lunch every Saturday. All are welcome.”

While the three-segment format is unusual, it does have its fans. Krawiec explained this after the event.

“I always enjoy these multiple race nights. It gives us more track time and the inverts always make it a fun challenge. The track was a challenge tonight, being slick on the bottom and requiring you to cowboy up to run the top but that made it exciting. Being low in the championship points, we used the night as a test to try some new things and see what direction we want to go for next year. It was a tough season, but I feel we have a good plan for next year to put us back on top.”

Engine issues kept Phillips from maintaining his good start to the season. Disappointed, but already thinking about next year, the Suffield, Conn. driver spoke after the races.

“Overall, it was a very frustrating year. When the car ran, we could easily hang with the top runners, but more often than not, we suffered engine issues that kept us from starting or finishing where we should have. We have some work to do this offseason to try and get it straightened out for next year. I want to thank Ray Miller and our entire team for the hard work they did all year. We truly are a great team that is always helping each other so that makes it a lot of fun.”

This marked the end of the 2020 racing season for the USAC DMA midgets. We would like to thank all the racers who supported us throughout the year. Thank you to Bobby Seymour and Seymour Performance Products for sponsoring our heat races and also to Butch Elms, April May Preston and the staff at Bear Ridge Speedway for a great season.


USAC DIRT MIDGET ASSOCIATION RACE RESULTS:  September 19, 2020 – Bear Ridge Speedway – Bradford, Vermont

FIRST SEGMENT: (10 laps) 1. Floyd Billington (#44 Billington), 2. Seth Carlson (#4 Matczak), 3. Justin Sheridan (#17 Miller), 4. Brandon Piastka (#7 Miller), 5. Joe Krawiec (#1 Miller), 6. Manny Dias (#42 Dias), 7. Will Hull (#2 Matczak), 8. Justin Phillips (#16 Miller), 9. Tim West (#5 Matczak), 10. Wayne Koehler (#91 Koehler). NT

SECOND SEGMENT: (15 laps) 1. Seth Carlson, 2. Will Hull, 3. Brandon Piastka, 4. Joe Krawiec, 5. Floyd Billington, 6. Manny Dias, 7. Justin Sheridan, 8. Justin Phillips, 9. Tim West, 10. Wayne Koehler. NT

THIRD SEGMENT: (20 laps) 1. Seth Carlson, 2. Justin Phillips, 3. Will Hull, 4. Floyd Billington, 5. Joe Krawiec, 6. Brandon Piastka, 7. Manny Dias, 8. Justin Sheridan, 9. Tim West, 10. Wayne Koehler.

OVERALL SEGMENT RESULTS: 1. Seth Carlson, 2. Floyd Billington, 3. Will Hull, 4. Brandon Piastka, 5. Joe Krawiec, 6. Justin Phillips, 7. Justin Sheridan, 8. Manny Dias, 9. Tim West, 10. Wayne Koehler.


SECOND SEGMENT FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Lap 1 Wayne Koehler, Laps 2-4 Brandon Piastka, Laps 5-14 Will Hull, Lap 15 Seth Carlson.

THIRD SEGMENT FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-6 Justin Phillips, Laps 7-20 Seth Carlson.

FINAL USAC DIRT MIDGET ASSOCIATION POINTS: 1-Seth Carlson-679, 2-Will Hull-568, 3-Brandon Piastka-568, 4-Justin Phillips-559, 5-Manny Dias-538, 6-Justin Sheridan-522, 7-Floyd Billington-455, 8-Tim West-406, 9-Joe Krawiec-383, 10-Jeff Horn-347.