Berry Determined to Bounce Back After Early Speedweek Struggles

Spring Run, PA – June 12, 2024

by Addicted2Dirt PR & Media Mgmt

Photo Credit:  Derick Kriner Photography

Austin Berry entered Appalachian Mountain Speedweek aiming to improve on his 11th-place finish in the 2023 series standings.  He and his team put in a lot of work during the offseason to freshen their equipment and improve their motor program to take the next step in their progression.

Berry got a late start on his 2024 campaign after parts delays kept the team’s engine on the sidelines longer than expected.  As a result, he entered Speedweek with only three races under his belt.  In those three starts, he showed speed but had mixed results.

QUICK RESULTS

DATE:  June 7, 2024

  • Event:  Appalachian Mountain Speedweek – Night 1
  • Division:  Super Late Models
  • Track:  Clinton County Speedway
  • City, State:   Mill Hall, PA
  • Stats:  40 cars, Group A Qualifying 12th, Heat 5th (5), B-main 1st (3), A-main 15th (19)

DATE:  June 8, 2024

  • Event:  Appalachian Mountain Speedweek – Night 2
  • Division:  Super Late Models
  • Track:  Port Royal Speedway
  • City, State:   Port Royal, PA
  • Stats:  45 cars, Group B Qualifying 7th, Heat 3rd (2), A-main 19th (18)

DATE:  June 9, 2024

  • Event:  Appalachian Mountain Speedweek – Night 3
  • Division:  Super Late Models
  • Track:  Hagerstown Speedway
  • City, State:   Hagerstown, MD
  • Stats:  36 cars, Group A Qualifying 14th, Heat 7th (6), B-main 6th (7)

DATE:  June 11, 2024

  • Event:  Appalachian Mountain Speedweek – Night 4
  • Division:  Super Late Models
  • Track:  Path Valley Speedway Park
  • City, State:   Spring Run, PA
  • Stats:  32 cars, Group A Qualifying 12th, Heat 4th (4), B-main 1st (1), A-main 17th (19)

THE OPENING PAIR

Berry kicked off the series Friday night with a return to the scene of his best run in last year’s edition.  He posted a podium finish in the 2023 event at Clinton County Speedway in Mill Hall, PA, and was looking to get a strong start again this year.

Although he didn’t come out of the gate with a qualifying run that put him in the dash like the previous year, his 12th-quickest lap was good enough to put him in contention.  He started 5th in his heat race but couldn’t climb into a top-three transfer spot.  

From inside row two in the B-main, Berry grabbed the runner-up spot at the drop of the green, then took command of the race at the halfway mark of the 10-lap affair.  The win put the Mifflin, PA native 19th on the A-main grid, which he converted into a 15th-place finish.

“We weren’t bad tonight but we were fighting a right front brake issue all night.  The caliper was hanging up and that was definitely limiting my options behind the wheel.”, Berry shared.

Saturday night the series rolled into Port Royal Speedway, Berry’s home track.  With a large, high-quality field of 45 cars on hand, he turned in the 7th-best lap in Group B qualifying, which put him on the front row of his heat race.

Berry transferred through his heat with a 3rd place finish but couldn’t mount any forward charge in the feature, officially finishing 19th in the 35-lap main event.

“We weren’t very good tonight.  We looked better than we were early on.  I think our experience here (at Port Royal) helped us qualify well and get through the heat.”, Berry commented.

NEW HOPE

Night three at Hagerstown Speedway in Maryland on Sunday was a night Berry was just as soon forget.  Rather than serving as a turning point, it only elevated the level of frustration in the ABR camp.

“Not a lot I can say about tonight.  The car was bad and so was the driver.”, Berry said.

After qualifying 14th in his group, finishing 7th in his heat, and not transferring through the B-main, Berry and his team loaded up and headed home right away to get started on going over the car and preparing for Path Valley Speedway Park on Tuesday.  The day off on Monday would give them an opportunity to regroup.

When the team unloaded for Tuesday’s show, quite a few changes had been made to the Tuscarora Restoration, Juniata Veterinary Clinic, Berry’s Siding & Seamless Gutter, SRI Performance / Stock Car Steel & Aluminum, VP Racing Fuels, Carquest of State College No.86.

After posting good lap times in hot laps, Berry’s qualifying run came up short of expectations when he landed 12th in the rundown for group A.

“I was really confused when the car got really tight in qualifying because it was good in hot laps and we had not changed anything.  When I got back to our pit we discovered the right rear tire was almost completely flat.  I ran over something in staging and cut the sidewall just before I started my time trial run.”, Berry explained.

From outside row two in his heat, Berry got into the 3rd and final transfer spot at the drop of the green and held it to the halfway point, but late in the race slipped to 4th and was relegated to the B-main.

Berry started on the pole of the 10-lap B-main and never looked back, winning over Drake Troutman and Kyle Hardy to put his Rocket Chassis in the show. 

After starting 19th in the 35-lap feature, Berry slipped back as far as 21st before rebounding and charging forward to 14th on lap nine.  The second half of the race was more of a struggle when the right front brake issue surfaced again.  He finished 17th.

“After Hagerstown, we went over everything, talked with the folks at Rocket Chassis and with Jim at JDS Racing.  We determined some of the changes we made over the offseason were working against us, so we put some of those things back to how they were last year.”, Berry shared.

“It helped.  We were a lot better at Path Valley.  Only racing three times before Speedweek has hurt us.  If we had raced more we would have figured these things out sooner.”

“We have made tremendous gains in the handful of races we have run.  We expected to be better, but the good news is we know what our issues have been and we can work on them to get to where we should be.”

Berry has the equipment to do the job.  Facing tough fields with limited laps this year is part of the reality of the challenge they face, but they are battling through that.

“I want to give a shout-out to Tom Barron and Barron’s Racing Engines.  It’s no secret that our powerplants have been a pain point for us in recent years, sidelining us with a series of issues, so after last season we started working with Tom.  He has got our engine program on the right track.  We appreciate that, especially after what we have gone through the past few years.”, Berry said.

“We are hitting the reset as we head to Selinsgrove to start the second half of Speedweek.  It’s one of my better tracks, so it will be a good gauge of where we are.  We are looking to get some confidence back.”

UP NEXT

Four races remain on the Appalachian Mountain Speedweek schedule and Berry intends to enter all of them.  Thursday night the series will roll into Selinsgrove Speedway, then move on to Bedford Speedway, Lincoln Speedway and BAPS Motor Speedway on the next three nights, closing out the series on Sunday night June 16th.

The full schedule can be found at AustinBerryRacing.com!

PARTNER SPOTLIGHT

Contact Berry’s Siding & Seamless Gutters for all your Siding, Soffit, Fascia, Gutters, Downspouts, Windows and Roofing needs!

With years of experience, they provide professional work with attention to every detail! 

Call 717-436-9096 today or find them on Facebook where you can see photos of their quality work!

Be sure to visit Austin Berry Racing’s YouTube Channel at YouTube.com/AustinBerry86 to watch all the great content they provide!
 
LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE the videos, plus SUBSCRIBE so you are the first to know about new videos!

 

AUSTIN BERRY RACING

 

WebsiteAustinBerryRacing.com

Bio & Media Info:  A2DPR.com/AustinBerry

Press Releases:  A2DPR.com/LatestNews

Facebook:  Facebook.com/AustinBerryRacing

TwitterTwitter.com/AustinBerryRacn

Shop:  AustinBerryRacing.com/Shopping

Tuscarora Restoration
Juniata Veterinary Clinic
Berry’s Siding & Seamless Gutter
SRI Performance / Stock Car Steel & Aluminum
VP Racing Fuels
Carquest of State College

Nathan Berry Beef Farm
Dye It Rite
Auto Glass Centre
Fragola Performance Systems
Addicted2DirtPR.com
GO Lithium
Peterson Fluid Systems
Quick Car
Valvoline Pro-V Racing
Sweet Manufacturing
Victory Fuel
Swift Springs
Strange Oval
DMI – Diversified Machine, Inc.
Quarter Master
JDS Racing
Hoosier Mid-Atlantic
Rocket Chassis
Photo Credit: Jason Walls / WRT Speedwerx

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