Berry Makes Big Comeback, Falls Just Short in Grass Roots 200 at Langley

JR Motorsports | 4/12/2019

All Things Automotive Josh Berry Langley Late Model News

Josh Berry had an up and down night on Thursday, rallying to finish second in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series competition at Langley Speedway.

Track Specs: .400-mile oval / 200-lap feature

Berry’s start/finish: 3rd/2nd  

 

LANGLEY, Va. (April 12, 2019) – Racing in the Late Model Stock Car class in the South is most definitely a contact sport. JR Motorsports driver Josh Berry experienced it up close and personal for the second time in five days on Thursday night at Langley Speedway in the Visit Hampton Virginia Grass Roots 200 for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.

Despite getting punted out of second place late in the race by an over-ambitious C.E. Faulk and losing all his track position, Berry recovered nicely and made it all the way back to second place when the checkered flag waved.

The 200-lap race, filling the hole in the schedule left by the cancellation of the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown, was split into segments of 80 laps for the first two and 40 for the final one. Berry qualified third for the event in his No. 88 All Things Automotive Chevrolet and after the start, settled into an easy fourth-place position. At the end of the segment, Berry held off a hard-charging Peyton Sellers to finish there.

Berry stayed out at the break, advancing to third place when race-long leader Phillip Morris came down for service. Rules for the event allowed each car to change two tires under a controlled setting, the same as it was for the Old North State Nationals on Sunday at Orange County (N.C.) Speedway.

As the second 80-lap segment got under way, five-time Langley track champion Greg Edwards drove away at the green, and C.E. Faulk, who started second, did not. That allowed Berry to dive into second place, right in the leader’s tire tracks. Over the next several laps, Berry worked the bottom line on Edwards in an effort to take the lead and eventually succeeded off Turn 2 on lap 96. Berry put his nose in the wind and drove away to a five-length lead at the halfway mark.

Widening his lead to a full second at lap 107, Berry settled in for the long run to lap 160. Faulk upped his pressure seven laps later, pulling within a couple of car lengths, but Berry held sway until four laps remained in the segment. Faulk, seeking an advantage for the final 40-lap run to the checkered, drove hard into Turn 1 behind Berry’s JRM machine, which was tucked to the inside of the lapped car of Eddie Johnson. Faulk powered through the rear bumper of Berry’s All Things Automotive No. 88 and kept his foot in it, eventually sending Berry around at the exit of Turn 2. The cars hooked bumpers, tearing the right front fender off Faulk’s car, flattening Berry’s left rear tire and damaging the left rear fender. Faulk was penalized for rough driving and was sent to the rear of the field, and Berry put on an emergency tire before coming back around for the controlled caution.

After changing his tires and adding fuel, Berry started the final 40-lap segment in 10th spot. Working his way to sixth, Berry had a front-row seat for Faulk’s mugging of Morris in Turn 3, which resulted in an extended caution period. Morris’ car hit so hard it bent the rear clip and had to be taken from the surface by two wreckers.

That put Berry fifth for the final 15-lap run to the flag, behind Sellers, Edwards, Mark Wertz and Justin S. Carroll. With nine laps to go, Berry got to the inside of Edwards for second and set off after Sellers. In two laps, Berry cut two tenths of a second off a half-straightaway lead, and by the time there were two laps left, Berry was within four lengths. It was half that coming to the white, but Berry couldn’t get to the bumper before the checkered waved.

Next up for the JRM Late Model team of Berry and Adam Lemke, is another NWAAS race at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va. on April 27.

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

“We got to have some fun tonight at Langley Speedway, and I need to say a big thank-you to Mark Thomas and All Things Automotive and Dale Jr. and JR Motorsports for sticking with me. After the race on Sunday at Orange County, it was a quick turnaround for us to get here, but we made it happen. To come from fifth place with 15 laps to go tonight was pretty good. We were better than the 26 (Sellers) over that final run but I just ended up running out of laps and ended up second. On to the next one for us and JR Motorsports.”

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XFINITY Series Schedule

  • June 16 05:30 PM ET
    CircuitCity.com 250Iowa Speedway
  • June 29 03:30 PM ET
    Camping World 300Chicagoland Speedway
  • July 5 07:30 PM ET
    Firecracker 250Daytona International Speedway
  • July 12 07:30 PM ET
    Alsco 300 at KentuckyKentucky Speedway
  • July 20 04:00 PM ET
    Lakes Region 200New Hampshire Motor Speedway

XFINITY Series Standings

After LTi Printing 250

Michigan International Speedway | 6/8/2019
RankDriverPointsBehind
1Tyler Reddick6270
2Christopher Bell538-89
3Cole Custer510-117
4Austin Cindric486-141
5Justin Allgaier479-148
6Chase Briscoe #440-187
7John Hunter Nemechek429-198
8Noah Gragson #423-204
9Michael Annett406-221