Outing at The Speed Palace Shows Signs of Promise
Port Royal, PA – July 4, 2020 – By Addicted2Dirt PR & Media Management
A stout field of 31 super late models signed in at Port Royal Speedway to compete in the stock car portion of the Greg Hodnett Classic PA Sprint Car Speedweek finale. Every team’s first goal was to be one of the 24 that would make the night’s main event. After a lot of work at the shop during the week to get to the bottom of their handling issues, it was time to find out if those late nights would pay off for ABR and the #86 would be one of those 24.
An unlucky pill draw lined Austin Berry up 7th in the 8-car 3rd heat with several heavy-hitters. Comments around the pit area were that it was clearly the toughest heat of the night. Not only did it turn out to be tough, it was quite eventful. Due to another competitor checking-up on the initial start, Berry was forced to spin the car in turn 4 to attempt to avoid contact. He didn’t avoid contact completely but he did manage to avoid anything that would force his Rocket Chassis XR1 to the pits.
Austin restarted at the rear of the field and one lap later looped the car in turn 3 when a 3-wheel brake issue occurred. Some might have thought at this point it was just time to park it. Things were clearly not going their way. That’s not how Austin Berry is built though. It was an opportunity to clear his head, focus and rise to the challenge. And rise he did. Starting at the rear once again, he drove into the 5th and final transfer spot on lap 3 of the 8-lap qualifying race. Yeah he got a little help when one car dropped out and it certainly wasn’t pretty, but he raced his way into the show.
The heat race run placed the Swift Springs, MS Shock Therapy, Hershey Racing Engines, Berry’s Siding & Seamless Gutter and Nathan Berry Beef Farm #86 in the 19th starting position for the evening’s 25-lap main event. The crew made right-side body repairs from the earlier contact and decided on a few adjustments to improve on some things from the earlier heat race, as well as to keep up with the changing track surface. When the feature race went green, Berry was able to move forward and challenge for position. In fact, by lap 10 he had moved into 16th and was sizing up the 15th place car. Austin later shared, “To get better and try to go to the next level in this super-competitive division, we changed a lot of things over the winter and found out quickly this year we were going to have to learn the car all over again. We basically had to take 2 steps backwards before we could start going forward again. Tonight the car finally started to feel close to where it was a year ago, so knowing we are learning and making the right decisions helps our confidence a lot.“.
The car seemed to lose momentum at the halfway point and a couple quick checks of the gauges over laps 13 and 14 showed the engine was slowly losing oil pressure. Berry had to make the unwanted left turn into the work area and retire from the event. It clearly wasn’t the ending they wanted but there were definitely good things to take away from the night. There was something positive to build on.
Next up for ABR is the $3000 to win Summer Championship at Port Royal Speedway on Saturday July 11, 2020.
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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