Track Specs: .363-mile oval / Twin 40-lap features
Berry’s Race 1 start/finish: 1st/1st
Berry’s Race 2 start/finish: 10th/3rd
Alfredo’s Race 1 start/finish: 4th/6th
Alfredo’s Race 2 start/finish: 5th/7th
HICKORY, N.C. – Hickory Motor Speedway, the venerable oval north of Charlotte, is always a place where JR Motorsports’ Late Model teams run well. That was the case Saturday night, where Josh Berry won the first 40-lap feature and finished third in the second, while Anthony Alfredo logged a pair of top-10 finishes in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series competition.
Berry won six races at Hickory last season and got this year started off on the right foot with his victory in the first 40-lapper. He qualified on the pole and raced away to the caution-free victory over Tommy Lemons Jr. and Justin Johnson. Alfredo, whose plan was to save some tires for the second race, finished a solid sixth in the first 40-lapper, and with the 10-car inversion, started fifth in the second. Berry, as the winner, was 10th at the start of the second race.
Starting that far back, Berry needed a caution to help him move up through the field. He didn’t get it, as the second 40-lap feature also ran caution free, and he could only get to third place. Alfredo got hung on the outside groove at the start of the second race and couldn’t move forward in traffic, eventually using up the rubber he’d saved from the first race. He ultimately got to the bottom groove in ninth, and advanced two more positions before the end of the event.
Berry and Alfredo will next be in action on April 22 in the CARS Late Model Stock Car series at Orange County Speedway.
Josh Berry, driver No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet team
"We had a really good car this weekend. We had some issues in practice that kept us from practicing a whole lot, but we did a good job of fixing them and getting the car ready to qualify. After we qualified on the pole, my plan was to win the first race, and hopefully have some tires left for the second race. We were able to do that, but a 10 car invert hurt us pretty bad without having any yellows to bunch us back up. I definitely was hoping for a caution towards the end to give us a shot, but it never came and we ended up third. Overall, another great weekend for us, and I'm just thankful to have the opportunity to go after these wins with JRM."
Anthony Alfredo, driver No. 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet team
"We had a good car but things didn't play out how we wanted them to. In the first race it was logical to save some tires if I wasn't fighting for the lead because with the invert the leaders would have to start in the back and most likely would have worn out their tires. I decided to maintain what I could while not wearing my stuff out. They inverted 10 cars and I was confident we would be able to race up front. Unfortunately, we got caught on the outside and although we were fast out there at first, we got stuck behind other cars side-by-side and after racing hard out there for more than 10 laps I think I wore the tires out. When I got back to the bottom lane the car was pretty free and I was getting beat off the corner since I didn't have as much grip. We definitely learned some things to help us when we go back for the CARS Tour race there. I want to thank JR Motorsports for their hard work because we had a fast car and know we can run well there in the future."