Trip South to Hagerstown Speedway Proves Worthwhile
Mifflin, PA – May 19, 2021
by Addicted2Dirt PR & Media Management
photo credit: Jason Walls/WRT SpeedWerx
Following a top 10 run at Port Royal Speedway on May 1st, Austin Berry was anxious to return to the track and back up that finish with another consistent outing. Unfortunately, Mother Nature forced the cancellation of the May 8th ULMS show at his home track and thus forced him and the rest of his ABR team to wait an additional week.
Berry, crew chief Josh Sheaffer, and the team made the tow south to Hagerstown, MD for the annual Frank Sagi Tribute race. Hagerstown Speedway is not a place where Austin has logged a lot of laps, and the event was sure to draw a competitive field, so it would definitely put the team out of their comfort zone and provide a good measuring stick for their progress this season.
Sunday night 31 cars signed in for the $3500-to-win event just south of the Mason-Dixon line. The field was divided into four groups for 5-lap, combined hot lap/time trial sessions. Teams later heat-raced in the same groups. On his laps under the clock, Berry registered the 4th quickest time in his group, which in turn meant he would start 4th in his heat race. Despite having a car he believed was good enough to finish 3rd in that 8-lap heat race, Austin felt he made a couple mistakes that resulted in his 5th place finish.
“Hagerstown can be a tricky place, especially early in the evening when the sun is beating down on one end of the track, but the other end of the track is in the shade. You’ve got dust flying at one end and rooster tails of mud at the other. Not having a lot of laps there probably hurt us in making setup decisions early in the night for qualifying.“, Berry explained.
After making adjustments to his Rocket Chassis XR1 in an effort to keep up with track conditions and to improve the handling, Berry lined up 20th for the 30-lap main event. He was able to make moves and gain positions early on, and as the racing groove got wider, the high line provided an opportunity to build momentum and make a few more passes. One notable positive sign that the team had made the right decisions was that Berry accomplished the majority of his passing without the benefit of restarts. The caution flag flew only once, with 5 laps remaining in the event. Ultimately the Mifflin, PA wheelman came home 13th, in the midst of a 3-wide battle that nearly earned him 11th.
Berry was encouraged by the outing. “In the past, we would have struggled to make the show against a field like this. Tonight, we qualified through our heat race and passed cars in the feature. We earned what we got tonight and that feels pretty good.” Austin continued, “I really want to thank JDS Racing and Jim Stevens for his support. With his guidance we have been having more and more nights like this. We’re finally seeing the consistency we’ve been chasing for a while now. I’m excited for the rest of this season.”
After an off weekend, next up for the Berry’s Siding & Seamless Gutter, Locust Hill Custom Butcher Shop, Addicted2DirtPR.com, Nathan Berry Beef Farm, A&C Racing Engines, Ontime Body & Graphic, Swift Springs, Penske Racing Shocks, Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic, VP Racing Fuels, Rocket Chassis XR1 No.86 will be a trip to Bedford Speedway on Friday, May 28th for the Turk Burket Tribute race.
AUSTIN BERRY RACING
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Photos from Hagerstown Speedway 5-16-2021
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