Austin Berry

ABR Addressing Motor Issues, Looking for Qualifying Speed in 2024


Austin Berry

ABR Addressing Motor Issues, Looking for Qualifying Speed in 2024

ABR Addressing Motor Issues, Looking for Qualifying Speed in 2024
November 22, 2023/in Austin Berry, Late Models/by mraddicted2dirt
Tickets Are Now on Sale for the ABR 2024 Kickoff Party, Read Details Here

Mifflin, PA – November 22, 2023

by Addicted2Dirt PR & Media Mgmt

It’s that time of year again when race teams assess their program and begin preparations for the new season, making improvements and adjustments based on weak spots and lessons learned. While Austin Berry Racing carries out those tasks, they are also preparing to celebrate with their fans and build excitement for the 2024 season.

Before we look back at the 2023 season and hear from Austin about the team’s plans to address their biggest pain point, let’s take a look at everything you need to know about the upcoming party the team is putting together!

To get everyone primed for the upcoming racing season, Austin Berry Racing will hold its 2024 Season Kickoff Party on January 27th at the Port Royal Speedway commercial building.

It will be the second consecutive year for the event. The 2023 edition was a win-win for everyone. The event was very popular with fans and successful for the race team as well.

“It’s always cool to take advantage of chances to meet fans and supporters! It’s always a really good time and it gives fans a chance to talk to the race team and myself out of race mode.”, Berry said. “Fans get to see the personalities that all the guys have and we get to know them. We enjoy connecting with fans so they can stop by and say hi anytime during the season and they are a familiar face to us.“

The evening begins at 5pm with a dinner of BBQ chicken, seasoned potatoes, and Texas beans.

At 7pm Chris Woodward and Shindiggin’ will take the stage to deliver live music. The band promises it’s “always a rockin’ country party” when they show up!

Throughout the evening there will be cash giveaway drawings, 50/50 drawings, raffle baskets, and other games. There will be something for everyone.

Just 300 tickets will be sold for the dinner and music evening, with prices discounted to $25/person until December 31st, 2023. During January, prices will increase to $30/person. If availability remains, tickets will be $35 at the door.

Earlier in the day from 11am-3pm, ABR will host their 2nd Annual Cornhole Tournament in the same facility at Port Royal Speedway. The tournament is limited to 40 teams, with preregistration required. Registration is $40/team and payouts to the top four teams are guaranteed. The winning team will take home $300, with 2nd through 4th receiving $160, $80, and $40 respectively. Concessions will be available during the tournament.

To obtain tickets for the evening event or to preregister for the cornhole tournament, fans can call 717-994-8451 or message the team via Facebook.

Tickets for the evening dinner and music event are also available at in the merchandise store. Tickets purchased via the website will be held at will-call to be picked up the day of the event.

Anyone who is interested in donating a basket for the raffle can contact the team via any of the same methods listed for tickets and registration. The team will promote your business or cause on social media in exchange for the donation.

The 2023 season contained a few really shining moments for Austin Berry. No, they didn’t find victory lane, but they kicked off the season with a top-ten finish, posted a runner-up finish at Selinsgrove in May after leading the most laps, and kicked off June with a top five at Port Royal and a podium in their first ever race at Clinton County during Appalachian Mountain Speedweek.

Statistically, the 2023 season was very similar to 2022 but that wasn’t the goal. Berry and his team were looking to log more podium finishes, top fives, and top tens, and of course, hopefully get back to victory lane.

It was the similar statistics and the finishes in between those shining moments that made Berry feel he was underachieving and not making the progress he and the team expected of themselves.

There was a recurring theme behind that feeling. A closer look shows The Tire Mart Tire Pros of Harrisburg, Juniata Veterinary Clinic, Berry’s Siding & Seamless Gutter, SRI Performance / Stock Car Steel & Aluminum, VP Racing Fuels, JDS Racing, Locust Hill Custom Butcher Shop, Nathan Berry Beef Farm,, GO Lithium, Valvoline Pro-V Racing, Super Clean, Rocket Chassis, Austin Berry Racing No.86 raced really well but often couldn’t overcome early qualifying laps that didn’t put the team in an optimal position for the night.

This certainly isn’t a gloom-and-doom story though. There are a lot of other positives to go with the shining moments we covered earlier.

The team logged more races than it ever had in the past and only missed qualifying for the main event twice all season. Another positive note was only one DNQ was a mechanical issue, plus Berry’s average finish for the season was just outside the top ten.

“I think that we have definitely gotten a lot more consistent. We no longer have flashes of brightness and then struggle to make the show the next weekend. With the exception of national touring series races, we are consistently qualifying for shows and making most of those through the heat races.“, Berry shared.

“We haven’t found the consistent speed early in the night to put ourselves in a starting position where we are capable of winning. We only started on the front row twice this past season.”

“Our team has been on a steady progression since 2019. I know it hasn’t come as quickly as any of us have wanted it to, especially me, but if we stay the of course and continue to work with our awesome partners, we will be fighting for multiple wins a season in the near future.“

After the season’s second engine failure sidelined his super late model program in late August, taking away three or four more potential starts, Berry decided to take a friend up on an offer to borrow a steel block engine and have a little fun racing with the limited late models.

He took to the track three times in September, each at a different speedway, and logged finishes of 4th, 2nd, and 8th.

“Running the limited was probably one of the highlights of the year, to be honest, not only for me but also for the race team. It was just fun to put it bluntly! We had absolutely zero expectations and we were going to just have fun and race. It allowed all of us to open up our mindsets and kind of just let loose a little bit.“, a smiling Berry shared.

“I had no idea what to expect from the driver’s seat with the drop in horsepower and we didn’t really know where our setups needed to be either, so we just went and raced and I think it actually allowed us to learn more about our racecar and learn ways that we can be better when we go back super racing in 2024.“

It’s no secret the Achilles heel for Austin Berry Racing in recent years has been motors. A team on a limited budget unfortunately can’t buy brand new, top-of-the-line powerplants.

“We tried to grow depth in our motor program in recent years, working to have two motors so we didn’t have to be sidelined when we had issues. Late in 2023, we decided to shift from quantity to quality. We bought a lightly used Cornett Racing Engine and ended up having a small issue with that, but in the long run, it will be much better for us.“, Berry explained.

The team also moved on from their engine builder of recent years and will work with local builder Barron’s Racing Engines for the coming season.

“Heading into 2024 we are prepping the Cornett, crossing all the T’s and dotting all the I’s. We are going over everything, installing new fuel lines and other components on the car to make sure all of that is fresh. We are also working with Randy at SRI Performance to upgrade our entire brake package. Ours was getting worn out, so the time was right to improve that aspect too.“

Aside from those things, the offseason is full of the normal maintenance work. The team will be making a trip to Rocket Chassis in West Virginia this winter to have the frame checked and fix up a couple of minor tweaks on the front end.

The team will officially close out 2023 by attending PRI, the Performance Racing Industry trade show in Indianapolis, Indiana December 7th-9th. It’s a big part of preparing for the upcoming season.

“PRI is our best opportunity to maintain the relationships we have with our partners because everyone is in one place at the same time, unlike during racing season, we all have the time available to talk things over, share information, and make plans for the new season.“, Berry said.

“We also go to PRI to develop new relationships and partnerships. There are a lot of educational seminars that help us build aspects of our program both on and off the track. It’s a productive and fun few days for sure.“

Article Credit: ADDICTED2DIRT

Submitted By: Joey Bainey

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