Beregszaszy's Super Performance Derailed By Late Race Incident LEBANON, Tennessee (August 15, 2006) - - If there is a driver who made an impression in the ARCA RE/MAX Series race last Saturday at Nashville Superspeedway, ARCA Rookie Paul ...
Beregszaszy's Super Performance Derailed By Late Race Incident
LEBANON, Tennessee (August 15, 2006) - - If there is a driver who made an impression in the ARCA RE/MAX Series race last Saturday at Nashville Superspeedway, ARCA Rookie Paul Beregszaszy in his first ever stock-car race was at the top of the list. Unfortunately, his 23rd place finish doesn't show how good he really was.
Beregszaszy put a lot of pressure on himself heading into the ARCA 200. Beregszaszy has attempted to make his debut in the series twice but mechanical failure in both instances have kept him from doing so. Rolling into Nashville with rejuvenated equipment from Joe Gibbs Racing, Beregszaszy was looking forward to getting the weekend underway.
Mother Nature strolled into the Nashville Friday morning with a slew of showers and thunderstorms dampening the Nashville Superspeedway. The unwelcome weather put an optimistic look on the faces of the Bereg Racing team. If practice or qualifying was to be rained out, the No. 77 would be loaded up on the trailer and heading home as the team did not have any provisionals (owners points) to fall back on.
Thankfully the clouds lifted and the storms subsided and the track was ready for practice shortly after 1:00pm. In the shortened session Beregszaszy laid out some fast early lap times but the team's session was cut short caused by a faulty radiator issue.
Beregszaszy's lap of 31.725 seconds at 151.262 mph was 31st fastest on the charts, but Beregszaszy knew a lot was left in his machine. "We found a hole in the radiator at the start of practice and we had to change it. The Bereg Racing crew did a great job with the swap but we ran out of time and weren't able to get any more track time. I'm still really positive about the weekend and I know that we'll be in Saturday's show."
Mother Nature returned with a vengeance Friday afternoon completely washing away a section of final practice for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and all of ARCA RE/MAX Series qualifying. To Bereg Racing's advantage, ARCA official opted to postpone qualifying until Saturday morning. The weather looked much better and allowed a fair chance for every competitor to make the field.
"Thank You ARCA," said Beregszaszy leaving the track Friday. "We wouldn't have been in the field if they would have started the field by points. Now, we can concentrate on qualifying and I think we're going to be solid."
Indeed, weather conditions improved on Saturday with the Bereg Racing team ready for their first qualifying session ever. With the car setup, it was up to Phoenix native Beregszaszy to put the World Water Solutions machine into the field.
During his lap, Beregszaszy posted a very respectable lap of 30.842 seconds or 155.593 mph picking up nearly nine-tenths of a second from his practice effort. His lap earned him the 18th position in the starting grid for the ARCA 200.
"It was a good lap," said Beregszaszy. "We found a lot of speed and I think we have a lot left. We have a very good racecar and I'm really looking forward to the race."
The former USAC driver took the green flag shortly after 2:00pm and quickly made his march towards the front. During the first couple of laps Beregszaszy had put his No. 77 into the top-15.
While the competition was tough, Beregszaszy was driving more like a veteran passing the likes of Jeremy Clements, Bobby Gerhart, Dexter Bean and Justin Marks early on. The car was handling brilliantly but the young driver was biding his time waiting for the perfect opportunity to continue his dash towards the front.
Beregszaszy was forced much like the rest of the field to make a green flag pit stop with a stout performance performed by his crew. Shortly after returning to the track, the yellow flag waived trapping the driver off the lead lap.
On the restart, Beregszaszy gunned his machine hard and raced with several other competitors trying to keep leader Justin South at bay. The caution flag waived two laps later putting Beregszaszy back on the lead lap and back on a charge.
Back to racing, Beregszaszy fought for every position and earned them. Passing drivers left and right, he shortly found himself in the top-five and closing on the leaders. Billy Venturini, Frank Kimmel, Brad Coleman and Brent Sherman were no match for the No. 77 as Beregszaszy had paced himself and worked his way up to the runner up position.
While leader Mario Gosselin had set a commanding lead, the caution flag once again returned with Beregszaszy retaining the second position and on the back bumper of the No. 12 Chevrolet. Electing to stay out, Beregszaszy was planning on taking the lead on the restart and bring home a stunning victory in his first ARCA start.
Green Flag racing resumed with Beregszaszy on the prowl. With no challenge from behind all eyes were set on Gosselin and Beregszaszy. Then the unthinkable. While preparing to make a move on the leader, Beregszaszy's machine broke loose on the frontstretch slamming nose first into the wall abruptly ending his day. Climbing from his car, huge cheers from the crowd could be heard all around Nashville Superspeedway as Beregszaszy put on a performance that many won't forget.
"I messed up, rookie mistake," said Beregszaszy. "She (the car) got loose and I couldn't hang on to it. I really hate, I'm so happy yet I am so frustrated at the same time. We had an awesome racecar today and I really think I had something for Mario (Gosselin, eventual winner). Thanks to my crew for all their hard work this weekend. I think we really turned a lot of heads and we'll be back, guaranteed."
"I received a call from our sponsor and they were ecstatic. I hate that we couldn't close the deal for them, but we'll give them a good finish at Chicagoland. It's important to provide our new sponsor with as much exposure as possible. They are new to the racing endeavor, but they are enjoying it. I appreciate their backing of the Bereg Racing team."
Luckily, the No. 77 World Water Solutions Chevrolet isn't totaled and the Bereg Racing crew is back in North Carolina beginning to repair the car in time for their next race at Chicagoland Speedway next month.
"We're going to Chicagoland and plan on pulling a David Gilliland (referring to Gilliland's surprise and stunning NASCAR Busch Series victory at Kentucky Speedway earlier this year). We will be at the test and we will be on the track all day. I will get as much seat time as possible and we'll do everything we can to back our Nashville performance up in the "Windy City".
Leaving Nashville, Beregszaszy a former Porsche Super Cup Series driver in Germany and Austria has one ARCA RE/MAX Series start with a career best finish of 23rd at Nashville Superspeedway (August 2006). He holds a career best superspeedway time trials effort of 18th also at Nashville Superspeedway (August 2006).
In addition to running at least two more ARCA events at Chicago and Talladega, Bereg Racing also plans to make a few NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts later this year.