By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
After an early mistake in Stage 1 at Michigan International Speedway, Josh Berry rallied to score a top-10 finish.
Regaining Track Position
At the start of the final Stage, Berry’s No. 8 Harrison’s USA Chevrolet Camaro SS was 34th. The JR Motorsports driver started the final Stage of the New Holland 250 in the back after his team repaired damage from early in the race. Despite the damage and the repairs, the speed in Berry’s car was evident. Before the green flag pit cycle even started, he had climbed back into the top-10.
The Hendersonville, TN native briefly took the lead during the pit cycle. After Berry pitted, he cycled back to ninth. The 31-year-old picked off positions from Riley Herbst, Daniel Hemric, and A.J. Allmendinger. However, Berry ran out of time before he could move back into the top-five, taking the checkered flag in sixth.
“Apologize to my JR Motorsports team for my mistake in the first stage,” Berry admitted on social media post-race. “Just got super tight in a bad spot and got the fence. They got me fixed up and we had her in the wind in the final stage. Fought back up to sixth at the end.”
The mistake nearly was more of a disaster. Berry struggled with a tight condition and tagged the outside wall exiting Turn 2. Kyle Weatherman took evasive action. Then in Turn 3, Weatherman broke loose in the Jesse Iwuji Motorsports No. 34 Chevrolet beneath Berry. Both times, they emerged relatively unscathed.
Though he bounced off the outside wall, Berry still finished the first Stage in 10th. Using strategy at the end of Stage 2, he finished third. Between the two Stages, Berry netted an additional nine points. With Stage points factored in, he earned the fifth-most points of those on track despite finishing sixth.
The sixth-place finish was Berry’s 12th top-10 finish this season. That matches his career high last season when he was competing part-time. It was Berry’s 26th top-10 finish in his 50th career start in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, maintaining a 52% top-10 finish average.
By virtue of his two wins earlier this season, Berry is locked into the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs. Despite the top-10 finish, he slipped from fourth to fifth in the points standings. Berry is 98-points behind leader Allmendinger.
Apologize to my @JRMotorsports team for my mistake in the first stage. Just got super tight in a bad spot and got the fence. They got me fixed up and we had her in the wind in the final stage. Fought back up to p6 at the end. @HarrisonsUsa
— Josh Berry (@joshberry) August 6, 2022
Next for Berry is the Xfinity Series race at Watkins Glen International on Saturday, August 20.
Featured Photo Credit: Photo by NKP / NKP Photo.