Josh Berry delivered JR Motorsports something the team had never accomplished in either the NASCAR Nationwide Series or Whelen All-American Series: A championship. The 21-year-old Hendersonville, Tenn. native secured both his and the team’s first championship Saturday night at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va.

Entering the night with a 34-point advantage of perennial Late Model contender Frank Deiny Jr., Berry knew he had to race both fast and smart to secure the title. Berry posted the second-fastest time in qualifying for the first of two 100-lap events. Josh ended the first race sixth and received a fortuitous break when the series’ random draw awarded him the pole position for the finale. Knowing he only had to manage a 14th-place finish; Berry played his cards safe and brought home a fifth-place finish.

“I’m glad to get JR Motorsports their first championship,” Berry said. “I’m just some kid they picked to drive their Late Model. To do it, man, it means a ton. I’ve been given such a great opportunity. To deliver them a championship, it’s awesome.”

Berry put together a masterful season at the .416-mile oval, notching one win, 15 top-fives and 17 top-10s in 18 races. The No. 88 Speedco team’s qualifying record was even more impressive with seven poles and 15 front-row starts in 2012.

The next race on Berry’s schedule is the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 event at Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 21.

2012 SEASON STATS
Starts18
Wins1
Top 5s15
Top 10s17
Poles7
Avg. Start1.94
Avg. Finish4.22