Last-Lap Crash Takes Win from Berry, Lemke Dumped at Motor Mile

JR Motorsports | 5/20/2019

Adam Lemke All Things Automotive Josh Berry Late Model Motor Mile News

A promising night ended in heartbreak Saturday for JRM's Late Model duo of Josh Berry and Adam Lemke in CARS Tour competition at Motor Mile.

Track Specs: .416-mile oval / 125-lap feature
Berry’s start/finish: 1st/14th    
Lemke’s start/finish:  12th/19th    

RADFORD, Va. (May 20, 2019) – Josh Berry qualified on the pole for Saturday night’s CARS Late Model Stock Car Series event at Motor Mile Speedway, led 124 and three-quarters of the 125 laps, yet did not wind up in Victory Lane for the second straight race.

Bobby McCarty did, after using the front bumper to turn the race-long leader in Turn One on what would have been the final lap.

From qualifying on, Berry’s No. 88 All Things Automotive was the class of the field. He won the pole and led every lap from the green flag on until a caution flag waved with the leaders in Turns 3 and 4. Brandon Pierce had tangled with another car to bring out the fateful flag, and that set up the fireworks at the end.

On the green-white-checkered restart that decided the race, Berry got away clean with McCarty close behind. As the lead duo entered Turn 1, with Berry on the high side, McCarty piled his car into the low groove and rooted the race-long leader into a spin. That brought out another caution flag, though Berry did not retain his spot and was sent to the rear of the field. McCarty was not penalized for the incident and assumed the lead, with Justin Carroll moving up to second spot.

Berry rejoined the field and made it back to 14th in the second green-white-checkered attempt. Had he won the race, Berry would have expanded his points lead and earned his second straight CARS Tour victory.

Adam Lemke, coming off a top-five run in the last CARS LMSC event at Ace Speedway, started the race 12th and battled track position for much of the early going, getting trapped on the high groove and dealing with a loose No. 98 Chevrolet. That condition worked itself out and Lemke was moving up the ladder when an accident on the front straightaway happened right in front of him.

Despite avoiding contact with any of the participants, Lemke’s left rear tire went flat and he was forced to pit road for a quick change. The 16-year-old California driver wasted no time getting back into the groove, quickly working his way to the cusp of the top 10.

Lemke made the pass on Stacey Puryear to briefly enter the top 10, but Puryear got into the rear of Lemke’s JRM machine and sent the young driver to the fence, which ended his night in 19th place.

Carroll followed McCarty to the checkered flag, with Sammy Smith, Pierce and Tommy Lemons Jr. rounding out the top five.

Next up for the JR Motorsports team is the CARS LMSC event at Langley (Va.) Speedway on June 8.

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

“Obviously, the finish turned out to be very disappointing after we dominated the race. We brought another great All Things Automotive Chevrolet to the track and did just about everything right. All we can do is work hard for the next one and try to get another win. Big thanks to everyone at JRM and All Things Automotive for the support.”

Adam Lemke, driver No. 98 JR Motorsports Chevrolet team

“It’s really unfortunate how our race ended tonight. I had a great car all weekend long, but it just took me some time to get myself where I needed to be. I think I am getting better at qualifying and we would have been closer to the front but I messed my second lap up which put me in that position. The car was more than good enough to be in the top five but I was always in the middle of something. Since I have been here and I am the California kid in everyone else’s backyard, I came expecting to get a little roughed up and what not but I am going to start racing everyone how they race me and show them that I can run with these guys. Our finishes most definitely do not show how much hard work is put into the car and how good a car the team can put together. The worst part about wrecking is that now we have to get the car put together again instead of making it better.”

XFINITY Series Schedule

  • August 24 03:00 PM ET
    CTECH Manufacturing 180Road America
  • August 31 04:00 PM ET
    Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200Darlington Raceway
  • September 7 03:00 PM ET
    Indiana 250Indianapolis Motor Speedway
  • September 14 07:30 PM ET
    Rhino Pro Truck Outfitters 300Las Vegas Motor Speedway
  • September 20 07:30 PM ET
    Go Bowling 250Richmond Raceway

XFINITY Series Standings

After Food City 300

Bristol Motor Speedway | 8/16/2019
RankDriverPointsBehind
1Tyler Reddick9780
2Christopher Bell924-54
3Cole Custer839-139
4Justin Allgaier819-159
5Austin Cindric785-193
6Chase Briscoe #742-236
7Noah Gragson #728-250
8Michael Annett695-283