Berry Wins Myrtle Beach 400 To Cap Big Late Model Season

Ron Lemasters | JR Motorsports | 11/20/2017

Anthony Alfredo Josh Berry Late Model News

Josh Berry finished off a fantastic weekend for JR Motorsports on Saturday night by winning the 25th Myrtle Beach 400 Late Model race, hours after the organization earned the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship in Florida.

Track Specs: .538-mile oval / 225 laps
Berry’s start/finish: 1st/1st
Alfredo’s start/finish:  28th/39th  

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – Josh Berry finished off a fantastic weekend for JR Motorsports on Saturday night by winning the 25th Myrtle Beach 400 Late Model race, just hours after the organization placed its NASCAR Xfinity Series cars in the top three of the series championship in Florida. Teammate Anthony Alfredo overcame a start deep in the 43-car field to challenge in the top five just after the break when the engine expired, putting him 39th at the finish.

Berry started on the pole in his No. 88 The Decal Source Chevrolet for the 225-lap event on the worn MBS pavement, which wears tires at a rapid pace. He rode in the top five for the first 125 laps and was third at the 10-minute break between segments. After changing four tires and making adjustments for the final 100 laps, Berry dropped back a few spots to save tires for the end. With 25 laps remaining, he was back in the top five and on the hunt, reaching third place in short order. On the final restart, at lap 203, he passed Chad McCumbee for second and set out after leader Timothy Peters. Berry said he could tell Peters’ car was getting looser as the race went on, and took advantage of it.

Eight laps later, on lap 211, he passed Peters for the lead and paced the field for the remaining 14 laps to earn the victory by nearly two seconds. It was sweet redemption for Berry, who was leading on the final lap in this race a year ago before JRM teammate Christian Eckes dived low off Turn 4 and bounced Berry off the outside wall to take the victory. “I hate to harp on that, but last year was a difficult way to lose,” Berry told Speed51.com after it was over. “As frustrating as it was that we lost, I was happy for Christian. In the end, I just tried to handle it best that I knew how. I just put a chip on my shoulder that we could come back and win, and tonight we did that.”

Alfredo started 28th after having to run the second heat race, but started passing cars from the wave of the green flag. His Ceco Building Systems/JDRF Chevrolet was good in race trim and it showed, as the young 18-year-old driver moved all the way up to ninth by the lap-125 break while still saving tires.

On the break, Alfredo changed tires and added fuel, ready to roll to the front over the final 100 laps. Five laps in, he had taken the high line to sixth place and was battling for fifth when the engine let go, ending his night.

The victory was Berry’s seventh of the season, and with Alfredo’s three triumphs gives JRM a total of 10 for the year. Included in that total are victories in the Bobby Isaac Memorial (Berry) and Fall Brawl (Alfredo) at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway, two of the bigger Late Model races of the season.

Josh Berry, driver No. 88 The Decal Source Chevrolet team

“To win the Myrtle Beach 400 is a really great for our team.  This race is always so much about tire strategy and positioning, so I kind of used the first half of the race as a test for the second half.  We ended the first half in a good spot, but the car was a bit too loose. We were able to make some good adjustments at the break, and really focused on saving the rear tires for the end.  The second half of the race always seem to get strung out, and I felt like it was going to be easy to burn the tires off early.  Towards the end, I could see Timothy start to get free off the corners, and I was able to get around him and get the lead.  After that it was just about managing what we had left in case of a late-race caution.  I'm really happy to be able to cap off the great weekend that JR Motorsports had by winning one of our biggest races of the year.  I can't thank Dale, Kelley, L.W. and The Decal Source for the opportunity to race and compete for these wins. Thank you to all of our team members for all of their hard work over the 2017 season. It was a great season for us, and winning the CARS Tour championship and then the Myrtle Beach 400 was a great way to cap it off.”

Anthony Alfredo, driver No. 8 Ceco Building Systems/JDRF Chevrolet team

“I am really disappointed to miss out on a shot to contend for the win in one of the biggest races of the year. We had a great car and put ourselves in a good position to capitalize at the end by coming all the way from 28th to the top five. The crew worked so hard all weekend and it was paying off. It's a frustrating way to end the season but some things are just out of your control and that's a part of this sport. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with JR Motorsports and I appreciate all their help this year. I want to thank them, my parents, family, partners and everyone else who supports me for making this possible. I am looking forward to 2018.”

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XFINITY Series Schedule

  • February 17 03:00 PM ET
    POWERSHARES QQQ 300Daytona International Speedway

XFINITY Series Standings

After Ford EcoBoost 300

Homestead-Miami Speedway | 11/18/2017
RankDriverPointsBehind
1William Byron # (P)40340
2Elliott Sadler (P)4029-5
3Justin Allgaier (P)4025-9
4Daniel Hemric # (P)4003-31
5Cole Custer #2288-1746
6Brennan Poole2223-1811
7Matt Tifft #2211-1823
8Ryan Reed2161-1873
9Michael Annett2155-1879