Track Specs: .500-mile oval / 100 laps
Berry’s start/finish: 1st/1st
CONCORD, N.C. – Josh Berry had never seen, let alone raced, at Concord Speedway before Saturday night’s CARS Late Model Stock Car feature on the half-mile oval. Despite that, the Tennessee native won the pole position in the Speedco No. 88b Chevrolet with a track-record time and raced to his record sixth career CARS LMSC victory. JRM teammate Christian Eckes finished third to give the Late Model team a banner night at Concord.
Having missed a CARS event to race for the JRM Xfinity team last month at Iowa, Berry had fallen to third in series points. Saturday night’s victory did a lot to help him earn back some points. He’s 39 points behind Deac McCaskill for the series lead, with Tommy Lemons Jr. sitting second just eight points out of first.
After winning the pole, Berry lost the top spot to Myatt Snider on the initial green flag. He got it back on the fifth lap when Snider slipped in Turn 1 and never lost it again. Berry considered riding in second, but said he felt “we had a good enough car to lead the race and I knew it would be hard to pass.”
Berry worked his way to a four-second lead by lap 90, but a late-race caution—the only one of the night-- took that lead away. On the restart, he was able to clear second-place Justin Carroll and cruised to his series-best third CARS victory and ninth victory of the season. Snider rebounded to finish second, followed by Eckes, McCaskill and Carroll.
Berry and Eckes will return to CARS Late Model Stock Tour action Saturday at Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly, N.C.
Josh Berry, driver No. 88 Speedco Chevrolet team
“Tonight was a lot of fun. I had never seen this place until yesterday, so I didn't really know what to expect. After we qualified so well, I felt like we would have a really strong car in the race because we typically don't qualify the best. I lost the lead on the first lap and thought about riding in second, but I felt we had a good enough car to lead the race and I knew it would be hard to pass. I was worried about a late-race caution and of course we had one right at the end, but luckily we were able to get clear and take the win. What a great car we had, just a credit to these guys and they work so hard. This is another track where I've won in my first try, and to my knowledge there's only one left I've got to win at and that's Martinsville. I'd really like to get a clock. As for the CARS title, it would take a lot of luck to win it, a whole lot of luck. I have a ton of respect for Deac (McCaskill) and we're going to work really hard to upset him because we know he's going into next week as the favorite. I just have to thank everyone on this team from Speedco, my dad, Dale, Kelley and LW.”
Photo Credit: Speed51.com