Building Momentum Through Attention to Detail
Mifflin, PA – June 3, 2021
by Addicted2Dirt PR & Media Management
Feature Photo Credit: Jason Walls/WRT SpeedWerx
One major component of the equation for a race team to improve is simple, race more. Another important part of the equation is travel. Race a variety of tracks. So far in 2021, compared to recent years, Austin Berry and his team are checking off those items, and it shows. Of course, the equipment, knowledge, and decisions behind the wheel are big factors as well, and ABR has also seen improvements in those areas this season. When you plug all of those into the equation, you get consistency and confidence.
After a week off, Berry and his team were anxious to get back to the track but rain forced the postponement of the Turk Burket Tribute race at Bedford Speedway in Pennsylvania. Fortunately, the event was moved from May 28th to May 31st, which still fit the team’s schedule. ABR was one of 20 teams to sign in to compete on Memorial Day. Bedford Speedway is a half-mile oval located on the fairgrounds in Bedford, PA and it is a place where Berry doesn’t have many laps. That means little experience or notes to rely on.
After the hot lap sessions, Austin knew the car wasn’t quite where it needed to be, but there was no time to make changes before time trials, so he made some adjustments to the one thing he did have time to change, his driving approach. It paid off. Going out last for time trials, which is usually a disadvantage due to deteriorating track conditions, Berry registered the 8th quickest time overall and 6th best in his group.
The lineups for the heats were ‘heads-up’ based on the fastest time within their group, meaning the fastest cars started up front. That meant Berry would start 6th in heat two. After making some adjustments to his Berry’s Siding & Seamless Gutter, Locust Hill Custom Butcher Shop, Addicted2DirtPR.com, Nathan Berry Beef Farm, A&C Racing Engines, JDS Racing, Ontime Body & Graphic, Swift Springs, Penske Racing Shocks, Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic, VP Racing Fuels, Rocket Chassis XR1 No.86, he proceeded to post a strong run in the heat, moving forward two spots and finishing 4th in the stacked 8-lap qualifying race.
In the night’s 40-lap feature event, Berry started 8th and moved forward early. He held strong in 7th, often using the top side of the track, trying to find his way into the top 5. On lap 7, Matt Cosner was able to slip by, dropping Berry back to 8th. For the bulk of the race, Austin held that position, right on the heels of 7th. Unfortunately, the track began to take rubber, meaning there was a narrow line with the best traction, and little room to pass. Following a mid-race restart, Berry got a little loose and gave up a spot to Chuck Clise. Ultimately, he would ride home in 9th, logging a solid night overall for ABR.
“We have learned a ton already this year. We’ve changed a lot of things and so far, it’s all led us in the right direction. We have great supporters who have helped us in a lot of ways. Jim Stevens at JDS Racing has really helped us learn. All of those things have enabled us to move past some things that have consumed our time and energy in the past, so now we are able to focus on the next level of improvement“, Berry explained.
He continued, “In the pits and at the shop, we’re keeping better notes to make better decisions. We’re changing our approach on tires because they wear differently when the car handles better. I’m learning behind the wheel too. A lot of folks don’t know how many years I spent racing in karts and legends on pavement. I’m still working on how my approach behind the wheel should change on dirt. We’re going the right direction but we still have a long way to go. Now is when we have to work even harder. We’re really close.“
Austin Berry Racing will return to to their home track, Port Royal Speedway, the next two weekends. This Saturday, June 5th, is Camera and Autograph Night, which means the pits will be open to all ticket holders for about an hour prior to racing. Be sure to come early, stop by the pits to say hello, and take a photo with Austin! Check the speedway’s social media for specific times. June 12th at Port Royal will be Dollar Dog Night and senior citizens are admitted at a discounted price.
AUSTIN BERRY RACING
Learn more about Austin Berry at: https://addicted2dirtpr.com/home/drivers/austin-berry/
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Photos from Bedford Speedway 5-31-2021
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