NEWTON, N.C. – In only the second race of the season, JR Motorsports late model teams dominated at Hickory Motor Speedway, taking the top two positions in Saturday night’s 50-lap feature.
Fifth-year driver Josh Berry earned the victory in his No. 88 Speedco Chevrolet. It is Berry’s fifth career win, and third at Hickory, to go with a track championship at Motor Mile Speedway (Radford, Va.) in 2012. Newcomer William Byron started third in his No. 9 Liberty University late model and finished second to cap JRM’s one-two outcome. The 16-year-old Byron now has two runner-up finishes in as many races to start his late model career.
“Last week we were disappointed with our fourth place and went to work and really made some improvements with the Speedco Chevy,” Berry said. “I can't thank all of our guys enough for working so hard this week, and I'm really happy to get them a win.”
Berry started on the pole but lost the lead to Landon Huffman on the start. He retook the lead on lap 23 of 50 and never relinquished it again. When Berry made the pass of Huffman for the lead, he opened the door for Byron, who also passed Huffman to slide into second.
“I just stayed patient because I knew we had a really good car,” said Berry. “I wanted to save some of the tires when I could in case of a late-race caution, but the race stayed green the whole way. A one-two finish for us is pretty awesome. William has done a great job, and we are going to have a lot of good runs this season.”
“I am really pleased with how our team performed this weekend,” Byron said after his second runner-up finish in as many races. “Both JRM cars were strong and it’s great to see my teammate get the win.”
Huffman, Shane Lee, and Ashley Huffman rounded out the top five behind the JR Motorsports drivers.