SOUTH BOSTON, VA – JR Motorsports experienced an up-and-down day of racing in South Boston Speedway’s double-header event for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.
Josh Berry’s second-place finish in the night’s second race highlighted the team’s day. Berry charged from 24th to finish second in his No. 88 Speedco Chevrolet at a track he’d never raced on prior to Saturday. Brake issues in the night’s first 75-lap event forced Berry to retire early and try again in the second race.
South Boston rules mandate teams use one set of tires for both events of the doubleheader meaning Berry’s undoing in the opening race served him well in the second race. He methodically worked his way inside the top-five in the first 50 laps and sat fourth for a green-white-checkered restart. Berry made a crafty move in turns three and four on the final lap to bypass two cars and earn the runner-up finish.
Berry followed two-time national champion Lee Pulliam to the checkered flag followed by 17-year-old NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standout Erik Jones, Kaz Grala and Matt Bowling.
“I knew that I would have to race hard to make it up through the field with only having 75 laps,” Berry said. “I was able to follow Lee Pulliam (race winner) up through the field and get into the top five. The last green-white-checkered, everyone got real aggressive. The car in second got turned sideways and I just drove the car down as low as I could on the apron to sneak by.”
Berry’s teammate William Byron and the No. 9 Liberty University team did not fare as well at the Virginia bullring. Early in the night’s first race, Byron’s Chevrolet experienced an engine failure ending their night and not allowing the 16-year-old driver the opportunity to compete in the second event.