WALKER, Mich. – Brandon Hermiller and his H.S. Die/VISI-TST Ford Fusion Team started ninth and finished 12th in last Saturday night’s Berlin 125 ARCA/CRA Super Series race. The young Michigan charger said the battle on his home track, Berlin Raceway, was another step in the right direction.
“It was another race where we were able to overcome adversity and at least make a decent night out of it,” said Hermiller of last weekend’s competition against the traveling circuit’s regulars. “We saw some really crazy conditions with how the track changed from the heat of the day through the sun going down and it cooling off.
“We went with what you’d think would be logical changes to make, but it backfired on us,” explained Hermiller. “We tightened our car up between practice and qualifying and that bit us. Then we loosened it up between qualifying and the race. It’s only natural to think that the track would cool off and tighten up. Instead, it just got crazy loose and caught us off guard.
“So the bottom line is that we went the wrong way with our adjustments the whole day. But instead of Saturday going down the tube, we just dug down as deep as we could and came out with a respectable showing. That’s the biggest difference with our team this season versus the last couple of years. It’s the determination level my team has now.
“We’ll be racing the Supers (Super Late Model division) every weekend that they are running at Berlin this month,” said Hermiller, the former Pro Stock champion and Most Popular Driver at his home track. “Instead of venturing out to other tracks, we decided it would be more beneficial overall for us to focus on getting our stuff dialed in at Berlin. I guess you could say that what happened there last Saturday was an eye-opener for us.
“As loose as our car was, we were pretty fortunate to have completed all the laps, especially considering there was only one caution during the entire 125-lap feature,” said Hermiller. “The caution fell at the right time for us. We were able to stay on the lead lap and maintained our separation from the leader during the final laps.
“We plan on focusing all of our attention on Berlin for the next several weeks,” offered crew chief Josh Slade. “We hope to get our car dialed in so we can run up front and have a shot at winning some races. We’ve changed so much around this season already relative to our setups and all. It’s a smart move to concentrate on Berlin and get a good degree of consistency going. We’re racing a little different tire this season at Berlin than last year and the CRA guys run a slightly different tire from that. So, we’ve been facing a little learning curve with that, also.”
“I’m really proud of the potential we’ve shown and the never-give-up attitude our team has displayed this season,” added Hermiller. “We’ve only competed in five races so far this year, but we’ve been running at the finish in all of them. We gotta finish all the laps before we can win. We’ve avoided the crashes and really shown a lot of heart. I am confident that we can make a lot of progress over the next few weeks.”
In his five 2014 races to date, which include three battles with the ARCA/CRA competitors and two SLM events at Berlin, Hermiller has posted a 13.4 average start and 12.6 average finish. Most impressive is that he has completed 99.3 percent (541 of 545) of possible laps.
Hermiller’s No. 6 H.S. Die/VISI-TST Ford Fusion also carries sponsorship from River Hills Lodge, West End Body Shop, T.A.A.G. Tooling and Accessories Group, Stehouwer Frozen Foods and Beaver Research Company during the 2014 season.
It’s “Kids Night” this Saturday night at Berlin Raceway. School is out and Kids 11 and under are admitted free of charge. In addition to the Boyne Machine Super Late Models, the Model Coverall Modifieds, the Engine Pro Super Stocks and the NAPA Racing Filter Vintage Modifieds will be in action. Gates open at 1:30 p.m. for competitors and at 3:30 p.m. for spectators. Pre-race activities begin at 6:00 p.m. with the first green flag at 6:30 p.m. sharp. Adult admission is only $12, with students allowed in for $8.