Sunday, 23 May 2021


Winner Joe Krawiec (Granby, Conn.) Winner Joe Krawiec (Granby, Conn.) John DaDalt Photo


By: John DaDalt

Bradford, Vermont………Joe Krawiec ended a year-long stranglehold on victory lane by the Seals-It team by leading the final 23 laps of the USAC-DMA midget feature at Bear Ridge Speedway Saturday night.

It took just under six and a half minutes for the two time series champion Krawiec to stake his claim on victory lane. He had a comfortable lead as the laps wound down but had to hold off a fast closing Seth Carlson over the last couple of laps. Carlson got under Krawiec’s rear tires on the last lap in turn four but Krawiec got a good bite off the corner to take the win by 0.2 seconds over Carlson.

Wayne Koehler jumped into the lead at the start to lead the first two laps before Krawiec got by to lead lap three. Brandon Piastka followed Krawiec past Koehler into second where Piastka stayed until lap nine when an apparent electrical issue sidelined him for the night. As Krawiec maintained a steady lead over Piastka the action was heating up behind them.

Justin Phillips, Manny Dias, Carlson, Will Hull and Josh Sunn were all dicing, searching for the fastest way to the front. Carlson got by both Piastka and Dias on the tenth lap to takeover second. Five laps later Phillips also went around Dias for third. Dias finished fourth for his second top five of the young season.

Sunn and Hull had a spirited battle for position throughout the race with Sunn taking fifth place and Hull sixth.

It was a bittersweet victory for Krawiec whose father passed away last October.

“I’ve raced my entire 27 year career with my father and even when he wasn’t able to make it to the track last year we’d spend my entire three hour ride home on the phone talking about the race. Being the first year without him has been tough but I really need to thank the whole Ray Miller race team for all their help, their support and most of all the laughs and good times.”

In speaking about the race events, Krawiec added, “The night was a bit up and down. I struggled a bit with the setup and was too aggressive in the heat race and ended up spinning Tim West, which I again want to apologize for. Luckily, I have some amazing teammates and we bounced some ideas off each other, made a few adjustments to the car and with great track prep done by Bear Ridge Speedway it all came together for us in the end.”

Carlson worked his way from a fourth row starting spot to take second. Carlson ran down Krawiec in the later stages of the race but ran out of laps. “The new chassis is working great, but we need to work out a few issues with the engine on our week off” stated Carlson. “We’ll be back stronger next time.”

The sixth starting Phillips feels the team turned the corner on engine woes that have plagued them for the past year.

“My focus had been on trying to get the car to run for the majority of the last year, so it felt good to just get in and race. Great finish for us as well.  Congrats to Joe on his win.  Awesome for Ray Miller Racing.  I’d also like to give a huge thanks to Seth Carlson for helping us get the car going this week and the whole Ray Miller team for helping us push through our issues.  I couldn’t ask for a better team.  Looking forward to try to make improvements and hopefully capture a win soon.”

Josh Sunn and Justin Sheridan won the two heat races.

The USAC-DMA midgets have a week off before returning to Bear Ridge Speedway on June 5 and 12 followed by their first appearance of the season at Albany-Saratoga Speedway on Friday June 18.


USAC DIRT MIDGET ASSOCIATION RACE RESULTS:  May 22, 2021 – Bear Ridge Speedway – Bradford, Vermont

FIRST HEAT: (8 laps)  1. Josh Sunn (#76 Mancini), 2. Joe Krawiec (#1B Miller), 3. Jeff Horn (#A1 Horn), 4. Wayne Koehler (#91 Koehler), 5. Tim West (#5 Matczak), 6. Kelly Ferrell (#2K Ferrell). NT

SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Justin Sheridan (#17 Miller), 2. Seth Carlson (#4 Matczak), 3. Will Hull (#3 Matczak), 4. Brandon Piastka (#7 Miller), 5. Justin Phillips (#16 Miller), 6. Manny Dias (#42 Dias). NT

ALSO AT THE TRACK: Dan Lang (#02K Kugler) & Mike Chaffee (#18c Miller)

FEATURE: (25 laps) 1. Joe Krawiec, 2. Seth Carlson, 3. Justin Phillips, 4. Manny Dias, 5. Josh Sunn, 6. Will Hull, 7. Jeff Horn, 8. Justin Sheridan, 9. Wayne Koehler, 10. Brandon Piastka, 11. Kelly Ferrell. NT

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-2 Wayne Koehler, Laps 3-25 Joe Krawiec.

USAC DIRT MIDGET ASSOCIATION POINTS: 1-Seth Carlson-147, 2-Joe Krawiec-146, 3-Will Hull-136, 4-Manny Dias-126, 5-Justin Sheridan-122, 6-Brandon Piastka-114, 7-Justin Phillips-112, 8-Tim West-105, 9-Kelly Ferrell-88, 10-Josh Sunn-66.

NEXT USAC DMA MIDGET RACE:  June 5, 2021 – Bear Ridge Speedway – Bradford, Vermont