Berry 2nd, Mayer 7th in CARS LMSC Run at Hickory

Photo courtesy Glen Starek Photography

Ron Lemasters | JR Motorsports | 5/7/2018

CARS Tour Josh Berry News Sam Mayer

JRM put both its Late Model drivers in the top 10 Saturday night at Hickory, with Josh Berry pipping Tommy Lemons Jr. at the checkered for second place and Sam Mayer pushing hard for sixth at the stripe.

Track Specs: .363-mile oval / 150-lap feature
Berry’s start/finish: 3rd/2nd
Mayer’s start/finish:  19rd/7th

HICKORY, N.C. (May 7, 2018) – JR Motorsports put both its Late Model drivers in the top 10 Saturday night at Hickory Motor Speedway, with Josh Berry pipping Tommy Lemons Jr. at the checkered for second place and Sam Mayer pushing hard for sixth at the stripe. Bobby McCarty won the 150-lap CARS Response Energy Tour event on the .363-mile oval.

After qualifying third, Berry faded to the outer reaches of the top 10 for the first 100 laps of the event, saving tires and waiting for the end. Mayer, who qualified 19th, rode near the back of the 24-car field for much of the same distance for the same reason. When it was time to go, however, both drivers went.

On a restart with 43 laps remaining, Berry’s All Things Automotive Chevrolet rode fifth and Mayer’s Menards Chevrolet was 10th. Berry picked off fourth place on lap 119, and advanced to third two laps later, fighting from the inside line on the tight banked oval. Mayer rode the high side and advanced to eighth with 20 laps remaining.

Berry was locked in a tight battle with Lemons and both were chasing leader McCarty, with Lee Pulliam steaming up from fourth. With seven laps to go, Berry dived inside Lemons’ car off of Turn 4 and the two battled side-by-side for the next five laps. Coming to the white flag the two were dead even, and Berry inched ahead at the stripe to earn second place.

Mayer, meanwhile, had won a tight battle for seventh with polesitter Ty Gibbs and was battling with Ronald Hill with 10 to go. The 14-year-old Wisconsin driver was closing on sixth during the final laps. It was his second straight seventh-place result in CARS LMSC competition after he placed there last month at Orange County Speedway.

McCarty won over Berry, Lemons, Pulliam and Deac McCaskill.

The JR Motorsports teams will next see action on May 19, when the CARS Response Energy Tour heads to Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway for the U.S. Short Track Nationals on the .533-mile oval.

Josh Berry, driver No. 88 All Things Automotive Chevrolet team

“It was kind of a weird race. We got boxed in there a lot during the middle part of the race and I never could get some clean track to run our race. We ended up having to run too hard there to catch back up. I was trying really hard to get second, in case we had a caution there to make it interesting. All in all, it was a solid night for the All Things Automotive Chevrolet. The track got really slick. A lot of cars had been on it and it was a pretty warm night. Everybody was fighting for grip. In the end the 22 was probably the best car, we fought hard and got a great finish. I just wish we could have been one spot better.”

Sam Mayer, driver No. 9 Menards/JR Motorsports Chevrolet team

“We thought it would be more like the Myrtle Beach race, where you would just fall back and pick them off as the race went on. I think we over-saved a little bit in our Menard’s Chevrolet, stayed a little too far back for a little too long. We were able to fight back to seventh, which is pretty good from 19th. You don’t want to start 19th. I have to work on that. I’ll develop and learn. Josh keeps helping me and I keep getting better at qualifying. We’re only a tenth and a half off the pole, and less than a tenth off the top five, so we’re getting better. It’s just such tight racing in qualifying and in the CARS Tour, and that’s why I’m here. I’ll just keep learning and competing against the best in the Southeast.”

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RankDriverPointsBehind
1Christopher Bell #7710
2Elliott Sadler754-17
3Daniel Hemric754-17
4Cole Custer752-19
5Justin Allgaier751-20
6Brandon Jones623-148
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