Three Race Weekend Ahead with ULMS
Port Royal, PA – March 15, 2021
by Addicted2Dirt PR & Media Management
Austin Berry Racing was feeling prepared for the 2021 season. The team had put in a lot of hard work over the winter to refresh their equipment and improve their potential. With one night remaining in their off-season, the team decided to participate in a test and tune session at Port Royal Speedway on Friday, March 12th. They wanted to unload at the season opener the next night with as much confidence as they possibly could. They wanted to know they had done all they could to be ready. The test sessions went well. They got quicker in each session and were near the top of the time charts in multiple sessions.
The following night, the team unloaded once again at The Speed Palace, ready to get the competitive season rolling. The pill-draw format called for four heats for the 38 super late models that had signed in for a shot at the $3,000 top prize. Austin Berry would roll off from the 4th starting position of the second heat in the late afternoon sunshine. The top five from each heat race would transfer to the night’s feature event, with the top three involved in a redraw for the overall top 12 starting spots in that main event.
The initial start of his heat race saw Berry launch into second, right on the bumper of leader Dan Stone as the field exited turn two. Berry pulled alongside Stone in turn 3 but settled back into line behind Stone off turn 4. Austin later shared, “The car was good. Really good. I built up a lot of momentum on the opening lap and I know with the level of competition they have at Port Royal, you have to run hard, so I carried all of that speed into turn one pretty aggressively. A little too much I guess.” Berry was referring to what happened next. The car over-rotated just past the apex of turns one and two, leaving him facing the wrong direction. Fortunately there was no contact or damage from the unfortunate spin.
Rather than dwell on the frustration of the situation, Berry righted the car and rejoined the rear of the field. It was early and there was still time to learn from the mistake, reach the top five and transfer to the feature event. By lap three it appeared he would do just that, as Berry had moved up to the 7th position. For the next few laps, he was engaged in a heated battle for the 6th position. However, on lap six Berry noticed the motor start to push out water, forcing him to abort his battle and take his Rocket XR1 pit-side.
The crew was unable to determine the cause of the issue at the track and with the lineup calling for Austin to start 14th in the B-main, from which only the top four finishers would advance to the A-main, the team decided to call it a night rather than risk losing a motor.
The good news is, back at the shop the next day, the team was able to get to the bottom of the problem (damage to the head) and will have it resolved in time to get back to the track next weekend. While the unrealized potential of opening day is certainly frustrating, ABR has the mindset you have to have in this sport. They are focused on the positives from their first weekend. There is a blend of determination and optimism that’s hard to explain, but it will serve them well. ABR is due and their day is coming.
This weekend, the Berry’s Siding & Seamless Gutter, Locust Hill Custom Butcher Shop, MS Shock Therapy, Nathan Berry Beef Farm, A&C Racing Engines, Ontime Body & Graphic, Swift Springs, Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic, VP Racing Fuels, Rocket Chassis XR1 No.86 will compete on three consecutive nights with the United Late Model Series (ULMS), March 19th-21st. The 3-race stint kicks off Friday at Williams Grove, followed by two nights at Port Royal Speedway on Saturday and Sunday. Come out to a race, stop by and say hello and cheer on the No.86!
AUSTIN BERRY RACING
Learn more about Austin Berry at: https://addicted2dirtpr.com/home/drivers/austin-berry/
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