A Sweet Night Gone Sour for ABR
Hard Work + Test Session = Positive Results
Port Royal, PA – July 12, 2020 – By Addicted2Dirt PR & Media Management
Recent weeks have been filled with a lot of activity in the ABR camp. That activity was born from a determination to solve their handling mysteries and get back to where they were in the past with their Rocket Chassis XR1. The team has been putting in the hours in the shop, working with partners to find answers and most recently participated in a test session to gather some data about what is working and what isn’t.
Saturday night July 11th at Port Royal Speedway, ABR was among 32 super late models that signed in to try to claim of the $3000 top prize at the end of the night. The evening got off to a great start when Austin registered a lap of 20.093 in time trials, good enough for 7th quickest in the solid field. That lap alone seemed to serve as validation that the efforts the team has been making were paying off.
It was far too early to read too much into the good lap though. Time trials call for a slightly more aggressive setup in the car than race conditions do, so the team made the necessary adjustments to prepare for their heat race. Austin’s qualifying run put the Swift Springs, MS Shock Therapy, Hershey Racing Engines, Berry’s Siding & Seamless Gutter, Nathan Berry Beef Farm #86 on the pole of heat 3 along side Ross Robinson. Five would qualify from each of the four 8-lap heats, with the top 2 from each event going to the redraw, thus guaranteeing the competitor a top 8 starting spot in the feature event. So far it appeared to be a sweet evening in the making.
At the drop of the green in heat 3 with Berry on the inside of the front row, he would enter turn one with a slight edge on Robinson, drive a little deeper into the corner and attempt to slide up to the higher groove in front of the 7r. He didn’t quite have enough momentum though and settled into second to begin his pursuit. On lap 2 after building some rhythm, he began to close slightly on the leader, indicating a battle for the lead may develop. The caution waved before the field could complete the lap and that’s when things suddenly and unexpectedly went sour for ABR. The two dreaded words: engine failure.
The motor produced sounds it shouldn’t and the power went away. Berry quickly shut it down to try to save it from any further harm and he coasted to a stop in turn 1, ending a promising night. Gregg Satterlee went on to defeat Ross Robinson and Kyle Lee in the feature event later that evening.
The good news for ABR: the team has clearly made significant progress during the past month. As a direct result of their hard work, research and testing, the car and its pilot were smoother, faster and more consistent Saturday night than that combination has been all season.
The bad news for ABR: until the motor is out of the car, torn down and examined, they won’t know the extent of the damage or how long it will keep them out of action. The best case scenario is probably a return when the super late models next compete at Port Royal Speedway on August 1st. Let’s not think about the worst case scenario for now.
As always, thank you to all our sponsors and partners, including our silent partners who do everything they can to help but ask for nothing in return!
Ontime Body & Graphic
Hershey Racing Engines
MS Shock Therapy
Berry’s Siding & Seamless Gutter
Nathan Berry Beef Farm
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