Race 7 of 33: Cook Out 250 at Martinsville Speedway
Track Specs: 0.526-mile oval / 250 laps
Weather: Mostly cloudy; 72 degrees
Race Winner: Josh Berry
Josh Berry, driver of the No. 8 Chevrolet Accessories Chevrolet, scored his first NASCAR Xfinity Series win on Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. Berry, who started 29th, had driven his way into the lead on Friday night before falling to second as the race was red-flagged for rain. Restarting the race Sunday afternoon, Berry remained locked in as he drove his No. 8 Camaro to the lead late in the final stage to secure his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series win in only his 13th start.
Stage One Finish: 20th
Berry took the green flag in the 29th position for the 250-lap event after the field was once again set via NASCAR’s mathematical formula earlier in the week. The Hendersonville, Tenn. native methodically battled his way inside the top 20 as the competition caution waved on lap 25. Remaining on track, Berry restarted from 20th and utilized the high line to gain two positions before a lap-42 caution slowed the field. Once again choosing the outside lane, Berry gained another two positions as the caution waved after a short five-lap run. Pitting for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment, Berry restarted from the 28th position. Remaining patient in order to keep the Chevy Accessories Camaro clean, Berry crossed under the green-and-checkered flag in 20th to end Stage One on lap 60.
Stage Two Finish: 10th
During the stage-ending caution, crew chief Taylor Moyer made the call for the driver of the Chevrolet Accessories Chevrolet to stay on track as they had pitted just 10 laps prior to the stage break. Cycling out to the fourth position following varying pit strategies, Berry once again restarted from the outside. Using what he learned from his 2019 ValleyStar 300 Late Model win at the .526-mile paperclip, Berry worked his way to the lead on lap 80. Rain began falling and Berry surrendered the lead just one lap shy of NASCAR waving the yellow flag, ultimately changing to red as the rain started falling harder. NASCAR moved the remainder of the race to Sunday afternoon and Berry picked up where he left off. Restarting from inside of the second row, Berry settled into fifth until a lap-106 yellow slowed the field. The 30-year-old brought his Chevy Accessories Camaro to pit road for four tires, fuel and another chassis adjustment to alleviate a tight-rolling Chevy. Returning to the track in the 18th position for the lap-113 restart, Berry wasted no time moving forward as he raced back inside the top 10. Berry crossed under the green-and-white checkered on lap 120 in the 10th-place, adding one important stage point to his day’s total.
Varying pit strategies again saw Berry restart the final stage from second position and he was able to work the high side to take the lead immediately following the drop of the green flag. A lap-140 caution bunched the field together as Berry continued to pace the field in his Chevy Accessories Camaro. Restarting from the lead on lap 145, Berry maintained focus and kept his No. 8 Chevy out front as caution flags on lap 154 and lap 176 brought the field back together. Pitting for four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment following the lap-176 yellow, Berry restarted from the inside of row four. Using the front bumper of his Camaro when needed, Berry worked his way back to the lead on lap 187, setting up a battle with a hard-charging Ty Gibbs. Surrendering the lead to Gibbs on lap 195, Berry set his sights forward.
A lap-206 yellow, as Berry was working his way around Gibbs for the lead, bunched the field together and trapped Berry in the second position. Restarting from the outside of row one, Berry was able to work his way to the bottom behind the 54, eventually taking the lead on lap 222. From there, the 2020 NASCAR Weekly Series National Champion never looked back.
Berry captured his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory, which was also the first for the JR Motorsports No. 8 and for crew chief Taylor Moyer. In doing so, Berry also locked into the NASCAR Xfinity Dash 4 Cash at Talladega in two weeks’ time and will do battle for the $100,000 bonus on NASCAR’s biggest oval track.
Josh Berry, driver No. 8 Chevrolet Accessories Chevrolet team
“Man, I am so happy to be here in Victory Lane with this No. 8 Chevy Accessories team. They work so hard throughout the week and we’ve had a rough couple of weeks that led up to this point, but this win makes up for it. Taylor (Moyer) called a perfect race and the car felt so good on the long run, we just needed to get to that point. I can’t thank everyone enough that has helped me get to this point, especially Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. for giving me this opportunity.”