At a recent test session at US 131 Motorsports Park Pete Berner finally began to feel like the Summit Racing Equipment Team’s hard work was producing the desired results.
“We put a tremendous amount of time and effort into our program,” told Berner, “and we’ve seen good results with this machine here and there, but the big key missing from our success was consistency. We made some pretty significant changes prior to this test session and the car was killer right out of the box. We were able to repeat our results in the following runs. Overall, this test session produced great results that boosted my confidence in this car and our ability to use consistency to turn the win light on again.
“My team just keeps getting better and better,” continued Berner. “RV [Rick Varnold] and Eric [Flemming] put in the hours and dedication and Tom [Pierson] has brought new life and focus to the team. Many thanks to them as well as our new associate Mark Eckman with CarSafe who is great support and has also provided the resources for us to utilize Jeff Perley as a consultant. The entire team is dedicated to seeing this Summit Racing Equipment Camaro succeed and it shows.”
The Summit Team is a common sight at US 131 Motorsports Park, where Berner not only tests frequently, but also participates in match races and special events. May 10-11 Berner will be on hand for the track’s 30th Annual Thunder Nationals.
“Jason [Peterson, General Manager] did an awesome job preparing the track for us at this test session,” Berner relayed. “It was phenomenal. The consistency of the surface allowed us to make back to back runs and evaluate our changes and provide feedback to our sponsors. We’re testing a next generation tire for Hoosier that promises to be even better than the ones we’re currently using. Hoosier is always moving forward with their products, like all of our product sponsors, and it’s important to us to be able to give them helpful feedback.
“We’re looking forward to being a part of the Thunder Nationals again this year. It’s a neat event where we have the opportunity to see always many of our local Summit fans. I hate that it fell on top of the Mountain Motor Nationals at MIR. I appreciate Royce [Miller] putting on that event and normally try to support it, but I made this commitment first.”
In perhaps the biggest announcement of the year, the ADRL just released that they will increase event purses by $100,000 and resume the Battle for the Belts shootout for all classes with a whopping $50,000 purse for Extreme Pro Stock, Pro Extreme and Pro Nitrous.
“I have to thank Kenny [Nowling, ADRL owner] for connecting the resources to increase the event purses and give us the opportunity to run for a prestigious Battle for the Belts event,” commented Berner. Kenny has put a tremendous amount of hard work into his return at to the ADRL and it shows. This purse structure will provide for the caliber of racing that will not only build each class, but will benefit and grow the series overall. I look forward to racing with the ADRL and seeing what the future holds.”
The last time Mountain Motor cars had the chance to race for a $50,000 event purse was the 2008 IHRA Pro Stock Showdown. Berner won that event and walked away with the 2008 IHRA Pro Stock Championship in the same weekend. With his renewed confidence, he now hopes that history can repeat itself.
“We’ve run in several of these Battle for the Belts, but we’ve never come out on top. I think it’s about my turn. We now have a very competitive car with a wide window for making consistently good runs. We may have gotten this together just in time to take home that $50,000 payday.”
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