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Monday, 20 June 2022

PIASTKA WINS NEW HAMPSHIRE’S MUSKET DIRT SHOOTOUT

Winner Dan Piastka (West Suffield, Conn.) Winner Dan Piastka (West Suffield, Conn.) John DaDalt Photo

PIASTKA WINS NEW HAMPSHIRE’S MUSKET DIRT SHOOTOUT

By: John DaDalt

Loudon, New Hampshire (June 20, 2022)………Taking advantage of his pole position, Dan Piastka (West Suffield, CT) led every lap of the Musket Dirt Shootout USAC-DMA midget feature at the Flat Track at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The win was Piastka’s first in the midget in his first full season of racing.

Piastka and teammate Justin Sheridan brought the field to the green flag. Piastka hugged the inside with Sheridan falling in behind him in second place. The top five quickly settled in with Piastka leading Sheridan, Seth Carlson, Will Hull and Josh Sunn.

The bottom of the track was the fast way around and with all cars being somewhat equal, it was a game of holding your line and trying not to make a mistake. Late in the race, Carlson was able to use traffic to work his way around Sheridan for second. Carlson closed in on Piastka over the final laps, but Dan held his line and drove to the win. Carlson 2nd, Sheridan 3rd followed by Hull and Sunn rounding out the top five.

Piastka experienced good fortune at times during the day. He spun out early in his heat race but came back to finish third which put him in the re-draw for feature starting position. Drawing position one, Piastka knew what he needed to do for the feature.

“I knew as long as I stuck to the bottom and didn’t miss my marks, I was in a good spot to run well but I never expected to go green to checker and take the win!”

Another dose of good fortune had the Miller Racing Team dealing with brake problems.

“I was having issues with my brakes in the heat race, which we worked on, but I thought for sure I wasn’t going to make 30 laps without losing them again but miraculously the brakes made it through the feature. I lost them driving to scales after victory lane! I’m just so happy to be racing with the team we have at Ray Miller Racing, and I wouldn’t be doing it without these guys, so I have to thank them and move on to the next race and hope we can keep up the good work.”

Carlson finished in second which gave him his fifth top five finish in the five 2022 races for the DMA. The kind of consistency that championships are won on. He showed the necessary patience in pressing Sheridan for second which finally paid off five laps from the end. He needed a mistake from Piastka to win and had to settle for second.  Carlson liked what he saw in the new racing surface.

“I think the track has a lot of potential, it was close to forming a faster outside groove, but it wasn’t clean enough. At night I’m sure it will be a different story. Our car was good. Daniel just ran 30 mistake free laps and didn’t give any opportunity to capitalize. I thought we had a shot in traffic, but the lapped cars just didn’t fall in our favor to make a move on the outside. Overall, it was a good day and congrats to Daniel on his first win.”

Justin Sheridan’s third place finish continues a strong early season for Sheridan. Loudon marked his fourth top three finish in five races. The West Suffield, CT racer was happy with another good finish.

“It was great to be back at the Flat Track and I’m glad to get on the podium, especially with all the additional drivers that came out for the special event. I’m very proud of Daniel, picking up his first DMA win, it was exciting for the whole team. And I have to say Happy Father’s Day to my dad and Grandfather who always show up at the races and support me and the Miller Race Team.”

Matt Seymour, grandson of the legendary “Boston Louie” Seymour, had Hank Davis (Sand Springs, OK) behind the wheel of the famous Seymour #29. The car was the former USAC-DMA championship car driven by Jason Goff in 2018. Davis looked good winning his heat race but was a little off in the main, finishing 13th. Josh Sunn won the first heat and Scott Holcomb drove to the win in the third heat.

The feature ran off in a little over 9 minutes and 7 seconds. The third time in five feature races this year the USAC-DMA midgets went green to checker without a caution flag.

The new clay racing surface held up well despite nearly 80 cars competing on a daytime surface. The top three finishers in the midget race all showed very little right rear tire wear.

The next USAC-DMA midget race is July 2 at Bear Ridge Speedway, Bradford, VT.

 

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USAC DIRT MIDGET ASSOCIATION SPECIAL EVENT RACE RESULTS:  June 18, 2022 – The Flat Track at New Hampshire Motor Speedway – Loudon, New Hampshire

FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Josh Sunn (#76m Mancini), 2. Will Hull (#3 Matczak), 3. Manny Dias (#42 Dias), 4. Ralle Rookey (#50 Matczak), 5. Nikki Ouellette (#14 Matczak), 6. Joey Chick (#5c Chick). NT

SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Hank Davis (#29 Seymour), 2. Seth Carlson (#4 Matczak), 3. Jeff Horn (#A1 Horn), 4. Mike Netishen (#5$ Netishen), 5. Wayne Koehler (#91 Koehler), 6. James Fitzgerald (#55 Netishen). NT

THIRD HEAT (8 laps) 1. Scott Holcomb (#1H Shookus), 2. Justin Sheridan (#17 Miller), 3. Dan Piastka (#1 Miller), 4. Mike Chaffee (#18c Miller), 5. Brandon Piastka (#7 Miller), 6. Alex Rose (#11 Rose). NT

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Dan Piastka, 2. Seth Carlson, 3. Justin Sheridan, 4. Will Hull, 5. Josh Sunn, 6. Mike Chaffee, 7. Manny Dias, 8. Scott Holcomb, 9. Brandon Piastka, 10. Mike Netishen, 11. Jeff Horn, 12. Ralle Rookey, 13. Hank Davis, 14. Wayne Koehler, 15. Alex Rose, 16. Nikki Ouellette, 17. Joey Chick, 18. James Fitzgerald. 9:07.00

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: 1-30 Dan Piastka.

NEXT USAC DMA MIDGET RACE:  July 2, 2022 – Bear Ridge Speedway – Bradford, Vermont