Team Will Take Upcoming Weekend Off, Return July 29th at Port Royal
Hagerstown, MD – July 19, 2023
by Addicted2Dirt PR & Media Mgmt
Photo Credit: Jason Walls / WRT Speedwerx
Austin Berry has been trying to find speed during the early part of the race night all year. He has found it in flashes here and there during an occasional time trial show, but in large part he has had to race his tail off late in the night to move toward the front.
Last week at Port Royal the team tried some new things to remedy that and it didn’t work exactly as hoped, although the team did learn from the changes. Sunday night Berry was back at the track to try again among a high quality field of 43 super late models at Hagerstown Speedway for the Frank Sagi Tribute race.
- Date: July 16, 2023
- Event: Frank Sagi Tribute
- Track: Hagerstown Speedway
- City, State: Hagerstown, MD
- Quick Stats: 43 cars, Qualifying 8th in Group 1, Heat 5th (8), A-main 10th (17)
Slow Start South of the Mason-Dixon Line
Berry went out late in Group 1 qualifying and turned in a lap that put him a disappointing 8th in the heat race starting lineup. The track had a ton of grip in it as a result of a late afternoon rain shower and Berry’s No.86 was just a bit too tight and needed a little more horsepower than he had available to counter that.
The Mifflin, PA native quickly turned that slow start into a positive. Berry charged all the way to 5th on the opening lap of the heat race. He was unable to run down Rick Eckert and settled for a 5th place finish, which was good enough to transfer directly to the feature event.
Heading North With A Personal Best
Berry started 17th in the 30-lap Frank Sagi Tribute A-main. Over the opening ten laps it looked like he was in for a long night.
Suddenly, 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 came alive.
On lap twelve Berry moved into 15th and by lap fifteen he had cracked the top ten. Late in the race he slipped back to 11th for a handful of laps but he continued to battle and he was able to slip back into the 10th spot on the final circuit. It was Berry’s career best finish at Hagerstown.
“I found the middle right at the end there and it really worked for me. Wish I had found that a few laps earlier, I think we could’ve picked off a couple more spots.”, Berry said. “We learned some things over the past couple races, so this week we talked with Jim (Stevens – JDS Racing) and made some changes. The car was really good there in the feature, we just didn’t qualify good again and got ourselves in a hole.
“I’m learning behind the wheel every week and the team is learning every time we race too. We will get the qualifying figured out early in the night and then we will be able to race for more podiums. At least I can leave here tonight saying I beat Gary Stuhler at Hagerstown. I’ve never done that before.“, Berry concluded with a smile.
Stuhler finished 12th Sunday night. He and Berry have become friends in recent years and beating the hall of fame driver, who he respects tremendously, at track where he has had so much success in his career gave Berry a moment to reflect on his journey as a driver to get to this point in his own career.
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16 races, 0 wins, 3 top 5’s, 5 top 10’s, 8 top 15’s
Last week’s trivia answer is, Austin Berry’s favorite meal is steak and french fries!
Now, on to this week’s question. What dirt track does Austin most want to race that he has yet to compete at?
The answer in the next press release!
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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