Will Look to Rebound Next Weekend at Port Royal
Port Royal, PA – August 2, 2022
by Addicted2Dirt PR & Media Management
Feature Photo Credit: Chris Hockley / WRT SpeedWerx
Coming off two consecutive top five finishes there earlier in July, Austin Berry was looking forward to returning to Port Royal Speedway on Saturday night, July 30, to try to continue the streak in The Tire Mart / JDS Racing / Berry’s Siding & Seamless Gutter / Locust Hill Custom Butcher Shop / Nathan Berry Beef Farm / A&C Racing Engines / Swift Springs / Addicted2DirtPR.com / Penske Racing Shocks / Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic / VP Racing Fuels / Rocket Chassis XR1 No.86.
Berry actually has a few impressive stats this season that may have gone unnoticed. Other than the Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model series visit to Port Royal back in April, Berry has not needed to run a B-main in 2022. Coming into Saturday night, he had also finished every feature event he started this season.
July 30: Port Royal Speedway / Port Royal, PA
[29 cars, Qualifying 9th Group 1, Heat 6th (10), A-main 19th (16)]
“We made a bunch of changes coming into this week. We’ve been pretty good this season but you can’t stop trying to get better. We think the changes we made will solve some challenges we have faced all year and make our program better overall.“, Berry shared before strapping in at ‘The Speed Palace’.
Berry’s two qualifying laps didn’t produce the desired result. He clocked in 9th best in his group, at least two tenths of a second off the goal. It doesn’t sound like much, but that blink of an eye can be the difference between a great night and a bad night. As it turned out, when the Mifflin, PA native returned pit-side, the team found an issue with the suspension and went to work replacing the part.
Starting in the fifth row of his 8-lap heat race and needing to reach the top six to advance to the night’s finale, Berry had his work cut out for him. It appeared he may have to simply better his position for the upcoming B-main, but the car and Berry were good enough to fight their way past Andrew Wylie, Gene Knaub and Andy Haus to reach 6th and make the transfer.
“We had an issue in qualifying that put us near the bottom of the chart and left us with a hill to climb to get back where we feel we should be. The car still wasn’t great in the heat, so I was pretty happy to be able to race my way in through the heat and avoid the B-main. It gave us time to work on it for the feature.“, Berry said.
Whatever the ABR team did during that time, it made the car noticeably better. Berry jumped to the high side right away on the start and motored from his 16th starting spot all the way to 9th by the time one lap was in the books.
Berry found himself in a tight battle to remain in the top ten, swapping spots and landing anywhere from 9th to 11th through the first fifteen laps. As the race reached the final ten laps, Berry sensed a vibration. Within two laps it culminated with a bang. He immediately killed the motor as cars around him took evasive action.
Berry coasted slowly to a stop a quarter mile later, bringing his night to an end. The records show a 19th place finish with only 18 of 25 laps complete. It was the first DNF, ‘did not finish’, of the entire season for ABR.
“I couldn’t enter (turns) one and three as fast as I needed to. The car was too loose. I think the changes we made took us the right direction but we need to adjust some more. We’re not happy with how the night ended, but we still feel good about where the car is handling wise.”, Berry concluded.
Before the team loaded up to head home, they had already made the determination there was no engine issue, which was good news. Further investigation at the race shop revealed a failed coupling that joins the transmission to the driveline. It was the first time in the team’s seven years they had experienced that kind of failure. It was unfortunate but in the scheme of things, it could’ve been much worse.
Repairs will be made and Austin Berry Racing will be back in action at Port Royal Speedway on Saturday night, August 6th for a dual heats, passing points format super late model show.
11 races, 0 wins, 3 top 5’s, 5 top 10’s, 7 top 15’s, 10 top 20’s
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! Below are the businesses…the people…the families…that make what these teams do possible. PLEASE take the time to browse this information and help the teams by giving your business to these partners.
Most importantly, tell them WHY you patronized them and thank them for being involved in racing!
The Tire Mart of Harrisburg
Berry’s Siding & Seamless Gutter
Locust Hill Custom Butcher Shop
Nathan Berry Beef Farm
A&C Racing Engines
Kevin Nouse Designs
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VP Racing Fuels
DMI – Diversified Machine Inc.
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