It was a wet day in Marne, Michigan at the Berlin Raceway, but eventually the ARCA/CRA Super Series got all of practice in on Monday evening for Tuesday’s Battle at Berlin 251. While not every car on hand was running a transponder, it was clear that Bubba Pollard will be tough to beat on Tuesday night.
Pollard, already a big race winner this year at the Winter Showdown at Kern County Raceway in California, is still searching for his first Battle at Berlin victory, and the speed he had this evening has his confidence high for tomorrow.
“I think we found good balance in the race car today,” Pollard told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. We just tried to learn all we could. I think we have a pretty good piece.”
The Senoia, Georgia driver brought two cars to the track on Monday to shake down both of them. Pollard’s fast laps came in the Crate car, which is the car he won with at Berlin with last year and will be racing on Tuesday night.
“We unloaded the red car and it’s still pretty fast so I think we’ll be good,” said Pollard. “But you never know when you might have to use the other one, so you run them both to be prepared.”
Ali Kern, Chad Finley, Hunter Baize, and Dalton Armstrong all showed speed at times throughout the evening.
Early in the evening the track proved treacherous for some drivers as two-time Snowball Derby winner Erik Jones slammed the turn one wall on just his second lap of the day. The defending Snowball Derby champion, John Hunter Nemechek also went for a spin in turn three, but
didn’t suffer any damage.
Jones’ no.61 car suffered heavy right front damage, and the team has decided the car cannot be fixed for Tuesday night.
“We’ll see if we can get another one together for tomorrow and try to win a race,” said Jones. “We were definitely fast. I think we were eighth or ninth on the charts with only one lap in legitimately.”
The rear end broke in Jones’ machine, which resulted in the crash.
“We had a rear-end come apart,” he said. “It’s odd. It’s a brand new rear-end. We pulled the cover off the back and there were shavings all throughout. There’s kind of just some bad luck going around right now for me. It’s a shame that we had to have a failure that wasn’t in our control.”
Speed51.com was live all afternoon from the Berlin Raceway with Trackside Now coverage presented by Earnest Performance. To have an on-demand replay of Trackside Now, click here: http://speed51.com/trackside-now-battle-at-berlin-practice-day/
Trackside Now from Tuesday’s Battle at Berlin 251 will go live around 1 pm. ET.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Northeast Editor -Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com
Battle at Berlin 251 Practice Results (Cars With Transponders):