For Josh Berry, four years of hard work, multiple wins and a 2012 Motor Mile Track Championship paid off in 140-characters from JR Motorsports team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr.
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) June 16, 2014
Okay, not exactly. Berry knew several hours prior to Earnhardt Jr.’s tweet that he’d be making his long-awaited NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 2. But that did not take away from the significance of the moment for the 23-year-old Hendersonville, Tenn. native.
What a day! So pumped to make my NNS debut in the #5 @JRMotorsports at Iowa. Hard work and great people believing in you CAN make it happen!
— Josh Berry (@joshberry) June 16, 2014
Berry moved to North Carolina in 2010 chasing his dream of one day racing in one of NASCAR’s major touring series. He spent Monday through Friday working in the team’s Mooresville, N.C. shop tearing down Nationwide cars after races and helping to prepare them for action again, then climb behind the wheel of his JRM late model on Saturday’s at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va.
In 2011, Berry earned his first late model victory at Motor Mile and showed improvement throughout the season. He carried that momentum into a 2012 Track Championship campaign at Motor Mile in 2012, the first championship at any level for JR Motorsports.
This season, Berry is off to an incredible start racing the No. 88 Speedco late model at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway. As of June 17, he has earned four wins and eight poles. In addition to competing at Hickory, Berry made two NASCAR K&N Pro Series East starts at Greenville-Pickens Speedway and Richmond International Raceway.
When the green flag waves on the 250-lap Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway, it will be Race No. 20 of 33 for the series regulars like Chase Elliott and Regan Smith. But for Berry, it will be the race he's been waiting four years for.