It is quite the rarity in drag racing for teams to have the opportunity to test the day before an event at the facility where the event is to be contested, but in an effort to put the racer first, the American Drag Racing League (ADRL) affords teams this bonus at each of their national events.
With a track prepped to the series’ high standards, Friday testing prior to these events is the prime occasion to get a jump on the weekend’s competition. Pete Berner and his Summit Racing Equipment Extreme Pro Stock team are looking to make the most of the opportunity as they head into the Simply Phones ADRL U.S. Drags VI this weekend (June 7-9) at Virginia Motorsports Park, near Richmond.
“The ADRL offers us this very nice perk of being able to test on Fridays,” Berner said. “This allows us the opportunity to try different things that we wouldn’t be willing to take a chance on during qualifying. We are constantly trying to better our program and the only way to really prove or disprove our new parts and combinations is to test them on the track. Although we test often at US 131 Motorsports Park, having testing built in to an event is an opportunity we can’t pass up.
“This Friday we’ll be testing a new motor combination, as well as new carburetors from Dave (Braswell, of Braswell Carburetion). Dave has been a mentor of mine for years. He’s the best in the business. These new carburetors show great potential and I’m excited to see what they’ll do.
“We’re also continuing our R&D with Hoosier Tire. They know what we’re trying to accomplish with our program and they’re on board with us 100 percent,” Berner continued.
“I’m very excited about the potential of these products and our newest engine combination. If we can put the power to the track that we’ve found in the engine shop, we’ll give people something to talk about. Thanks to Tom (Pierson) and Jeff (Perley) we have a great chassis setup. The car is completely different from last year. We haven’t produced the top results we’re looking for yet, but we know we’re on our way there.
“Perley will be at the event with us this weekend and it looks like he may make it to the remainder of our ADRL events as well. He’s really come on board with the team and is just as excited as I am, if not more excited, about making it into the Battle for the Belts and contending for a championship. These guys have really lit my enthusiasm, which is hard to do with me. Thanks to them, I’m not blasé–I’m pumped!”
“We built this car to be different,” Berner said of his Rick Jones-built 2012 Camaro. “We weren’t looking to go out and just be competitive. We want to revolutionize the way these cars perform. We want to set the bar in advancements. We know we have a setup to fall back on that will be competitive, but we want to be exceptional.
“You don’t get to be the fastest by doing the same thing as everyone else. We’re doing something different. Sometimes our progress is two steps forward and one step back, but we’re continually working to break the mold and prove the awesome capability of these machines.
“With that goal in mind, we can never test too much. Taking advantage of the ADRL Friday testing is a must for our team,” he concluded. “We’re excited to get to the track on Friday and see what we can do.”
(Photos by Ian Tocher; Click to enlarge)