RACE: U.S. Cellular 250 (250 laps / 218.75 miles)
TRACK: Iowa Speedway
DATE: Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014
TV: ESPN (7:30 p.m. ET)
RADIO: MRN Radio & Sirius XM (7:30 p.m. ET)
JOSH BERRY: “I’m really looking forward to this weekend. Moving up to the Nationwide Series has always been my ultimate goal since I joined JR Motorsports. I’m very fortunate to have people like Dale Jr., Kelley and L.W. Miller that are willing to give me an unbelievable opportunity like this because deals like this are really hard to put together nowadays. It’s honestly a dream come true. I feel like I’ve prepared myself as well as I can by working with the team and looking over past races and telemetry. Regan, Chase, and Kevin Harvick have been a big help just to give me some ideas of what to expect when I get there.”
UNDER THE LIGHTS: JR Motorsports has dominated night races this season, winning every race under the lights in 2014. Chase Elliott spearheaded the trend in the No. 9 ride, finding victory at Texas Motor Speedway, Darlington Raceway and Chicagoland Speedway. Kevin Harvick won at Richmond International Raceway and Kentucky Speedway. Kasey Kahne followed suite with a win in the night race at Daytona International Speedway.
BERRY BIO: Josh Berry is a 23-year-old Hendersonville, Tenn., native. He began racing go karts in Tennessee at eight years old. Berry moved to Legends cars in 2006, becoming the INEX Tennessee State Semi-Pro champion in 2007. He notched track championships at Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tenn. in 2007 and 2009. Berry began driving for JR Motorsports’ Late Model program in 2010. In 2012, he earned the team’s first track championship at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va. Berry currently leads the Late Model Stock points standings at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway on the strength of five victories. He has also won at Southern National Motorsports Park (Lucama, N.C.) this season. Berry made NASCAR K&N Pro Series East starts at Greenville-Pickens Speedway (Greenville, S.C.) and Richmond International Raceway earlier this year to be approved for Nationwide Series competition.
IRACING CONNECTION: Berry first met JR Motorsports co-owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. through online simulation racing in 2007. The two competed regularly on iRacing.com before striking up a friendship that led to Earnhardt Jr. offering Berry the opportunity to drive for JRM’s Late Model program in April 2010.
VETERAN INFLUENCES: This weekend will not mark Berry’s first trip to Iowa Speedway. In May, Berry traveled to Iowa with JRM’s teams and served as spotter for Regan Smith during practice. Last weekend, Berry traveled to Indianapolis to observe and talk to two-time Nationwide Series champion Kevin Harvick.
TACKLE GRAB: Tackle Grab, the leading online subscription box service for the recreational and sport-fishing industry, will be featured as primary sponsor of Berry’s No. 5 Chevrolet. Fans can enter Tackle Grab’s “Rods, Reels, and Racing” sweepstakes by liking the Tackle Grab Facebook page or sharing the contest’s details via Facebook. Grand prize is an all-expense paid trip for two to the Homestead-Miami race weekend November 14-16, plus a meet-and-greet with Kerry, Kelley and Dale Earnhardt Jr., and a private fishing excursion with Kerry Earnhardt. The package includes round trip airfare, four nights’ hotel accommodations, $500 spending cash and two tickets to all three series races.
FIRST TIMERS: Berry becomes the seventh driver to make their Nationwide Series debut in a JR Motorsports Chevrolet. He joins Steve Arpin, Richard Boswell, Chase Elliott, Danica Patrick, Andy Pilgrim and Austin Theriault on that list. In their Nationwide Series debuts this season, Elliott and Theriault each earned 15th-place finishes.
Saturday’s U.S. Cellular 250 Nationwide race at the .875-mile Iowa Speedway kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN and MRN/Sirius XM. In addition to his overall points lead, Elliott enters the weekend leading the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings by 44 points over Ty Dillon.