Berry’s Restart Magic Earns CARS LM Victory at OCS, Mayer a Solid Sixth

JR Motorsports | 9/10/2018

All Things Automotive Josh Berry Late Model Menards News Sam Mayer

Josh Berry scored the third consecutive CARS Tour Late Model victory for JRM Saturday night at Orange County Speedway.

Track Specs: .375-mile oval / 150 laps
Berry’s start/finish:  5th/1st 
Mayer’s start/finish: 15th/6th 

ROUGEMONT, N.C. (Sept. 10, 2018) – Josh Berry is a master of saving his stuff for the end, when it might make a difference. On Saturday night at soggy Orange County Speedway, Berry’s final restart made the difference between Victory Lane and another runner-up finish, as JR Motorsports’ Late Model team leader won his second CARS LMSC race of the season over Deac McCaskill.

After battling both McCaskill and the elements—rain washed out qualifying earlier in the day and caused the first 10 laps of the race to be run under caution—Berry’s opportunity came on the final restart of the night at lap 93. Having been unable to catch McCaskill over the middle stages, Berry sailed his No. 88 All Things Automotive Chevrolet to the high side in Turn 1 and ran side-by-side with McCaskill for two laps until he finally made the pass.

McCaskill made it interesting, staying close behind, but eventually the defending series champion would pull away to record his 14th CARS LMSC victory, tops all-time for the sanctioning body. It was Berry’s seventh top-five and ninth top-10 finish in CARS competition this year.

Mayer, who raced elsewhere on Friday night, started the race 15th despite having little practice and not being able to qualify. At the start, he saved his tires for the first 52 laps before starting to move forward. By lap 92, when the caution waved and set up Berry’s race-winning restart, the young Wisconsin driver ran 10th.

With 20 laps remaining, Mayer was battling with Lee Pulliam for sixth and after five laps of side-by-side racing, Mayer took the position and pulled away. The race went green the rest of the way and Mayer, who was saving tires for a late restart that never came, crossed the line in sixth at the end.

Behind the top two came polesitter Craig Moore, Tommy Lemons Jr. and point leader Bobby McCarty.

Josh Berry, driver No. 88 All Things Automotive Chevrolet team
“Tonight was a really good night for our team. We have been working hard on making our cars better, and that really paid off tonight. I tried to bide my time in the beginning, but I knew that Deac and I were very close. I felt like that we were so equal that it was going to be super hard to get by Deac, so my best opportunity to pass him was going to be that restart and I just tried to make it happen. The top was wet, so I just sailed it up in there and made it work. After that, it stayed clean and green and we were able to get away.  We have lots of big races coming up, so it feels really good to build up some momentum.”

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

“We were at a disadvantage all day, not having the track time, not getting to qualify, and the race going pretty much green flag. So to get sixth it shows how great the team is and how great the car is. Not an amazing finish but considering the circumstances, it was a good day! Thanks to the guys for getting the car right with very little track time!”

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XFINITY Series Standings

After Ford EcoBoost 300*

Homestead-Miami Speedway | 11/17/2018
RankDriverPointsBehind
1Tyler Reddick (P)40400
2Cole Custer (P)4035-5
3Daniel Hemric (P)4033-7
4Christopher Bell # (P)4026-14
5Elliott Sadler2255-1785
6Matt Tifft2254-1786
7Justin Allgaier2251-1789
14Michael Annett632-3408