Team Will Return to Port Royal Speedway July 1st After Short Break
Selinsgrove, PA – June 21, 2023
by Addicted2Dirt PR & Media Mgmt
Photo Credit: Jason Walls/WRT Speedwerx
Austin Berry and his team saw both ends of the spectrum over the first three Appalachian Mountain Speedweek events, then took advantage of the day off to regroup and heal some wounds on their Rocket XR1 before embarking on the balance of the series schedule.
Mission number one was to survive, to run all the races. Mission number two was to perform well. Contact at Hagerstown almost ended both missions but they were alive and well heading into Tuesday.
- Date: June 13, 2023
- Event: Appalachian Mountain Late Model Speedweek – Night 4
- Track: Path Valley Speedway
- City, State: Spring Run, PA
- Quick Stats: 43 cars, Qualifying 7th in Group A, Heat 3rd (2), A-main rained out (17)
- Date: June 15, 2023
- Event: Appalachian Mountain Late Model Speedweek – Night 5
- Track: Bedford Speedway
- City, State: Bedford, PA
- Quick Stats: 38 cars, Qualifying 12th in Group B, Heat 5th (5), B-main 2nd (3), A-main 13th (22)
- Date: June 16, 2023
- Event: Appalachian Mountain Late Model Speedweek – Night 6
- Track: Bedford Speedway
- City, State: Bedford, PA
- Quick Stats: rained out
- Date: June 17, 2023
- Event: Appalachian Mountain Late Model Speedweek – Night 7
- Track: Lincoln Speedway
- City, State: Abbottstown, PA
- Quick Stats: 43 cars, Qualifying 11th in Group B, Heat 3rd (4), A-main 13 (18)
- Date: June 18, 2023
- Event: Appalachian Mountain Late Model Speedweek – Night 8
- Track: Selinsgrove Speedway
- City, State: Selinsgrove, PA
- Quick Stats: 34 cars, Qualifying 9th in Group A, Heat 3rd (4), A-main 9th (17)
Penalized at Path Valley
Yet another stout field of 43 super late models unloaded at Path Valley Speedway for a Tuesday night installment of Speedweek. Austin Berry and The Tire Mart Tire Pros of Harrisburg, Juniata Veterinary Clinic, Berry’s Siding & Seamless Gutter, SRI Performance, VP Racing Fuels, JDS Racing, Locust Hill Custom Butcher Shop, Nathan Berry Beef Farm, Addicted2DirtPR.com, GO Lithium, Valvoline Pro-V Racing, Super Clean, Rocket Chassis No.86 was among them.
Berry qualified 7th in Group A to earn a front row starting spot in his heat race. The initial start saw a caution flag appear before a lap was completed. On the second attempt, a debatable call penalized the Mifflin, PA native for getting on the gas early.
The call put Berry back one row for the third attempt to start the race. From there he raced to a 3rd place finish, which put him 17th on the grid for the feature.
“We both got on the throttle at the same time but he spun his tires and I got grip. I’m sure it looked like I went and he didn’t but that’s not how I saw it.“, Berry said about the heat race penalty. “It was their call though and I just have to accept it and move on.“
Before the finale could take to the track the rains came. In a way it must have felt like another penalty of sorts to Berry. A chance to dig out of the hole created by Sunday night’s trip to Hagerstown and recover some points was taken away.
Through the B-Main at Bedford
Thirty-eight teams made their way to Bedford Speedway Thursday for night five of Speedweek. Berry turned in a disappointing 12th best time in his group, putting him 5th in his heat race starting lineup.
Berry was unable to move forward in the heat race and thus landed in the 3rd starting spot in his first B-main of the week. He turned in a runner-up finish to find his way into the main event.
The A-main was the bright spot of the night. Berry put on a steady, workmanlike climb from his 22nd starting spot to bring home a hard-earned 13th place finish. It was a welcome outcome to a tough night.
The second night at Bedford was washed out by rain, sending teams back toward Central Pennsylvania early for the final two shows of the series.
Pushing Through in the Pigeon Hills
The Appalachian Mountain Speedweek series moved on to the Pigeon Hills of Pennsylvania and 43 cars made their way to the well-known Lincoln Speedway.
Austin Berry Racing had turned in a notable performance there a few weeks earlier, passing a lot of cars before the engine expired on the No.86. On this night, they kicked things off with an 11th quick time in Group B qualifying.
Berry quickly put his car in the show by racing to a 3rd place finish in his heat race after starting outside the second row.
Taking the green from the outside spot in row nine, Berry battled a tough surface to move up to a 13th place finish in the A-main.
Although it had not been a friendly place to him on several occasions, Berry was looking forward to returning to Selinsgrove Speedway for the series’ finale. A month earlier he had led a large portion of the feature and wound up 2nd at the end of the night.
The night didn’t get off to the start he was hoping for as the team experienced carburetor issues in qualifying. Berry still managed to be 9th quick in Group A but felt he gave up a few positions as a result of the issue.
Like the night before, Berry went from 4th to 3rd in his heat race to lock into the A-main and once again he went forward in the main event.
Berry started 17th and immediately began chipping away, navigating his way forward in the running order. On lap thirteen he cracked the top ten and was looking for a way to reel in the top five. He managed a 9th place finish to cap off the week.
ABR's First Complete Speedweek
While their average finishing position and final points position both fell a little short of their goals, there were several positive takeaways from their Appalachian Mountain Speedweek experience and performance.
Six of the possible eight A-mains were raced and Berry made five of them. In those five starts he logged a podium, a top ten and three lucky 13th place finishes. But that doesn’t really tell the story.
Berry hit the track for competitive action 12 times and gained positions in 8 of those. In the 3 times he lost positions, 2 of those were only 1 spot.
Berry’s overall net positions for Speedweek heat races, dashes and features combined was +23 positions. That’s a stat representative of a team that knows how to race but needs to improve their time trial program. When they do, they will be a consistent contender for wins.
“The past ten days has been invaluable experience for me and the team. We don’t usually get to time trial much and so I would get nervous, but after a few nights in this series it became standard procedure and I got a lot more comfortable with it. That’s the part of our program we still need to improve…both the car and me…but we made a lot of progress this week.“, Berry said.
“It was a lot of work to run this series but I enjoyed it no matter how little sleep I got. We got to experience a lot of different disciplines by running all week. Different tracks, different conditions, recovering from a crash…it will all help our program in the end.”
Berry and his team improved little things as the week went on. Things that will prepare them better even for weekly racing the rest of the season.
“We had thoughts of going out to Lernerville to run the Firecracker 100. That’s something I eventually want to do but we have a lot of equipment to go over and maintenance…not just the race car but also the four wheeler, the generator, the truck, everything. Plus, the guys and I have to get back to our day jobs and frankly everyone is pretty worn out from the long hours, travel and everything it took to run eight races in ten days. That said, we don’t regret a second of it.“
Berry finished the series 11th in points, just 16 outside of the top ten…and the money. If not for circumstances beyond their control at Hagerstown and Path Valley, it is very likely the team would have finished the series inside the top ten. That is part of racing though. Much of what happens is not in your control.
“I’ll definitely come back and run it again but I know what we need to improve and change to be ready to do it again. If and when we do this again, it will be to run top five in the points.”, Berry concluded.
Be sure to visit YouTube.com/AustinBerry86 to watch the team’s latest video recap! Speedweek videos will be posted soon! Like, comment and share the video, plus subscribe to Austin Berry Racing’s YouTube Channel to see all the great content they share!
14 races, 0 wins, 3 top 5’s, 4 top 10’s, 6 top 15’s
Last week’s trivia answer is, Austin Berry earned a degree in Electro-Mechanical Engineering from Penn State University!
Now, on to this week’s question. What is Austin’s favorite TV show?
The answer in the next press release!
Built for Motorsports
Hand made in the USA, GO Lithium’s batteries are purpose built for racing. They provide the endurance and durability you can trust. With 1250 cranking amps, weighing only 9 pounds, and used by champions around the country, you can be positive GO Lithium is the correct choice for your team.
The GO Lithium battery has undergone 7 years of research, development, and testing, plus they went one step further and did Real World Dyno Testing. Their 16V battery is incredibly powerful, recharges quickly, and weighs in at only 9 pounds! With the lighter weight, the racer is able to reduce gross weight or move ballast where it will be most effective.
“People don’t think of batteries as a difference-maker, but the GO Lithium batteries will help us perform better as a result of the weight reduction, not to mention the reliable power.”, Berry commented.
Prismatic cells are more durable and are able to store more power in a smaller area, and that is the technology GO Lithium leveraged to create the only battery on the market using the unique approach.
Built for Safety
GO Lithium’s Battery is safe and was specifically designed for racing applications. To test, a Lithium cell is subjected to a puncture test in which a steel rod is driven through the cell. GO Lithium Cells passed this test without any explosion or fire. This can be an issue with other types of lithium batteries.
The Ultralight Lithium Battery from GO Lithium is also internally balanced, which ensures that the battery discharges and charges its prismatic cells equally. Cell balancing on the battery, which is expensive and thus many manufacturers choose not to do it, increases the lifespan of the product dramatically.
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! These are the businesses…the people…the families…that make what these we do possible.
PLEASE take the time to browse this information and help our race team by giving your business to these great partners.
Most importantly, tell them WHY you patronized them and thank them for being involved in racing!
The Tire Mart Tire Pros of Harrisburg
Juniata Veterinary Clinic
Berry’s Siding & Seamless Gutter
VP Racing Fuels
Locust Hill Custom Butcher Shop
Nathan Berry Beef Farm
Valvoline Pro-V Racing
Peterson Fluid Systems
Barnes Systems, Inc.
Kevin Nouse Designs
BDR Racing Products
DMI – Diversified Machine, Inc.
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