NEWTON, N.C. – Josh Berry earned his first NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model victory of the season Saturday night, taking the second round of the Big 10 Challenge at Hickory Motor Speedway in the JR Motorsports (JRM) No. 88 Speedco entry.Teammate Christian Eckes drove to a solid fourth-place finish in his first start of the season for JRM.
Berry started second and rode there for the first 50 laps or so to help manage his tires. He made the move to the lead on lap 55, getting around Dexter Canipe Jr., and led the rest of the way. Tire management was key, because the 100-lap race featured just one early caution period.
Eckes, meanwhile, started sixth on the initial green and dropped back to ninth as the race played out, saving his tires for a closing rush. He passed all the way up to fourth as other drivers wore out their tires, hoping for a late-race caution to put his fresher rubber to use. It didn’t come, and he finished fourth.
Matt Piercy finished second, followed by Canipe Jr., Eckes and last week’s winner Ryan Millington.
Berry and Eckes will be back in action again on April 2, when the CARS Late Model Stock Tour invades Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly, N.C. It is the season opener for the CARS Tour, and both drivers will run for the championship.
Josh Berry, driver No. 88 Speedco Chevrolet team
“I’m excited to get the Speedco Chevy back in Victory Lane early in 2016. It is always great to get some momentum going early on in the season, and Hickory has been a great track for me. Next up for us is the CARS Tour opener at Southern National in a couple weeks, so we are ready to get there and get to work. The competition in that series will be tough, so we will have to be ready to go when we get there April 2.”