Track Specs: .416-mile oval / 125-lap feature
Berry’s start/finish: 2nd/1st
Josh Berry returned to a familiar track in a brand-new series and emerged with a victory in the 125-lap CARS Late Model Stock Car Series portion of the Food Country 250 on Saturday night at Motor Mile Speedway.
Driving the Speedco No. 88b Chevrolet, Berry qualified second in his first CARS LMSC Tour event despite struggling early in practice. At the start, he fell back into the top five as the race began to take shape. His patience paid off just 47 laps into the event, as leaders Deac McCaskill and Tommy Lemons got together after racing side-by-side for 20 laps. McCaskill slammed the wall and Lemons sustained suspension damage that cost him several laps.
The contact gave Berry, who had worked his way back to third place, the lead. Series point leader Brayton Haws passed Berry soon after the restart and led until lap 92, when his car shot out of the groove with a flat tire. Haws had to pit for a new one, and Berry once again took over the top spot, despite steady pressure from Todd Gilliland, and cleared him on the final restart with nine laps remaining to earn his first CARS LMSC Tour victory.
Berry, who won $5,500, said later that it was probably “one of the biggest wins of my career.”
Gilliland finished second, followed by Myatt Snyder, Jamey Caudill and Doug Barnes, Jr.
Josh Berry, driver No. 88 Speedco Chevrolet team
"To get a win in our first try in the CARS Tour is pretty awesome. This series has had great competition and races all year. I have to give a ton of credit to Speedco, JRM, and all my guys for their hard work. We sort of struggled in practice, and we all worked our guts out trying to get the car where we wanted. By Saturday, we felt like we were in the ball park. The race was longer than most we run, so patience was pretty important early on. I just did my best to make sure our car was there at the end, and the tires weren't burned off. I struggled a bit on the restarts all night, but at the end I was able to get it done and get past Todd [Gilliland]. He ran me clean, and we both fought hard for it. Overall, this is a pretty big win for me and our race team. Motor Mile has always been special to me since this is where I started, won my first race, won my first championship, etc., so to win the big race here is pretty awesome."