Kid’s Night Meet and Greet a Great Experience for Everyone
Port Royal, PA – July 11, 2022
by Addicted2Dirt PR & Media Management
Austin Berry arrived at Port Royal Speedway Saturday night looking to maintain the roll he has been on since his recent return from the sidelines of the racing season in Pennsylvania. His first two races back yielded a top-10 at Selinsgrove and a 2nd place finish at ‘The Speed Palace’.
Berry’s night was a good one from start to finish. It kicked off with fun Kid’s Night activities and closed with another top-5 finish.
July 9: Port Royal Speedway / Port Royal, PA
[24 cars, Qualifying 4th in Group B, Heat 2nd (1), A-main 4th (3)]
The speedway’s Kid’s Night meet and greet before the program was a great start to the night for Berry, who always enjoys interacting with fans, especially the young ones who are just being introduced to the sport.
There were countless hero cards signed, photos taken and smiles all around during the pre-race festivities. Berry and his wife, Chasity, gave away goodie bags to all the kids who stopped by to visit, including two special bags that contained golden tickets, good for a free kid’s shirt.
The 24-car super late model field that signed in Saturday night at Port Royal Speedway was split evenly into three groups for time trials and heat races. The top four cars from each time trial group would be inverted to set the starting lineup for the 8-lap heat races. All cars would transfer to the 25-lap A-main, but only the top three finishers would be handicapped to make up the top nine starting spots in the finale.
Austin Berry took advantage of his pole position starting spot in heat race number two and jumped out to a commanding lead early. He maintained that lead through the first six laps of the race. Gary Stuhler had begun to gain ground on Berry mid-race, but Berry got back into his rhythm and had put some distance between himself and Stuhler again on lap seven when the caution lights flashed on. When the race resumed, Stuhler found his way past and picked up the win, while Berry came home 2nd, still comfortably in a handicap spot.
As an added bonus to the Kid’s Night activities, following the heat races, two dozen nerf balls that were donated by Berry’s primary sponsor The Tire Mart of Harrisburg, PA, were tossed to kids in the grandstands. One of those balls was autographed by Berry and the lucky boy or girl to catch the special ball won an Austin Berry shirt.
Berry started inside row two in the feature event. He moved into 2nd spot on lap four and kept a firm grasp on the position through lap twelve. It was then that, once again, Gary Stuhler came knocking and moved past the Mifflin, PA driver to take the runner-up spot.
The very next lap, Jared Miley arrived on the scene and did the same to Berry. In a race that lasted over 9 minutes, about 45 seconds had not gone Berry’s way, but it was enough to lose two spots.
As the laps wound down, Berry began to reel Miley in, but it was too late to complete the recovery and he settled for a 4th place finish.
“We had a 2nd place car, but the driver put on a 4th place performance.“, Berry said, summarizing his night with a combination of humor and disappointment in his voice. “The guys who race here are all so good, it’s hard to get away with a mistake. You make the wrong choice, they pounce.“
Berry went on to tell the inside story to explain his comments.
“Early in the race when Jeff (Rine) was out in front of us leading by the better part of a straightaway, I could only maintain the gap, not close it. I changed my corner entry to try to improve on exit and try to reel him in. Instead of helping, it made me worse. I couldn’t tell for a few laps because Jeff didn’t seem to be getting any further away, so I probably ran a half dozen laps like that. By the time I decided to give up on improving my corner exit, I had caught lapped traffic and Gary was on my heels. Within a couple laps both he and Jared (Miley) had slipped past me. At that point I went back to my original line, and I got quicker again, but it was too late. I should have gone back to that line two or three laps earlier. If I had, we probably finish second. Lesson learned the hard way.”, Berry shared.
The finish may have fallen short of Berry’s growing expectations for himself and the team, but it kept their momentum going. Finishes of 10th, 2nd and 4th since their return are a solid stretch of runs they can continue to build on.
“I’m glad we were able to have a solid run tonight when our partner The Tire Mart was here at the track. We thank Greg and his family for coming out tonight. We hope they had a great time and we thank them for their support of our race team. We truly appreciate it.“, Berry said.
Austin Berry Racing and 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 will head south of the Mason-Dixon Line this Saturday night, July 16th, to compete with the ULMS series at Hagerstown Speedway, which is located just off Highway 40 west of Hagerstown, MD.
9 races, 0 wins, 3 top 5’s, 5 top 10’s, 6 top 15’s, 8 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
Addicted2Dirt PR & Media Management
VP Racing Fuels
DMI – Diversified Machine Inc.
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