Berry To End Championship Late Model Season on Saturday at Florence

Ron Lemasters | 11/20/2020

All Things Automotive Dale Earnhardt Jr. iRacing Josh Berry Late Model News

Josh Berry will close the book this weekend on a season he’ll never forget by competing in the Charlie Powell Memorial South Carolina 400 at Florence (S.C.) Motor Speedway.

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Nov. 20, 2020) – Josh Berry will close the book this weekend on a season he’ll never forget by competing in the Charlie Powell Memorial South Carolina 400 at Florence (S.C.) Motor Speedway.  The event takes the place of the former Myrtle Beach 400 following the closure of Myrtle Beach Speedway earlier this year. Powell, who died earlier this year, previously owned Florence Motor Speedway and operated Summerville Speedway in the Palmetto State. He sold Florence to a group that had run Myrtle Beach Speedway prior to its closing and is spearheaded by Steve Zacharias.

Berry, the 2020 NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series National Champion, will compete in Saturday’s 225-lap Late Model feature on Florence’s .400-mile oval hoping to earn his 28th victory of the season. It would also be his second consecutive lucrative payout should he drive the No. 88 All Things Automotive/iRacing Chevrolet to victory, as $10,000 awaits the winner in Victory Lane.

Berry won the CARS Racing Tour’s Old North State Nationals earlier this month at Greenville-Pickens Speedway, taking home the $30,000 winner’s share in the process.

The event, which will cap the racing season for JR Motorsports, will also carry a unique quality to it. Berry has never raced at Florence, and this will be his introduction to the track.

“We’re excited to come down here and race,” Berry said. “I’ve never been to Florence, so it was a fun opportunity to race somewhere new and just try to cap off this great season that we’ve had.”

While Berry has not competed at Florence, teammate Connor Mosack has, racing there earlier this fall in the CARS Tour LMSC division. Berry will have that data to work with on Saturday.

“We’re going to apply what Connor was able to learn earlier this year and hopefully put together a good effort,” Berry said. “It’s going to be tough, a lot of tire wear and things like that, but by the end of it I think we should be all right.”

As an added bonus, team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. spent Thursday at Florence lapping Berry’s No. 88 during open practice.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@dalejr)

 

The Myrtle Beach 400, second in prestige only to the annual ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in the South’s pantheon of Late Model races, was one of Berry’s favorite races of the season each year, and the 30-year-old Tennessean wanted to help the new tradition get started.

“I’ve never been to Florence, but it looks like it’s going to be a fun track,” Berry told Speed51.com earlier this week. “We, as a team, want to support Steve Zacharias and his efforts starting this deal up, so we wanted to come race with him.”

Berry said it might take a while for the race to regain Myrtle Beach’s status, but there’s never a better time than the present to begin the journey.

“I think it’s going to take some time to build it up to the type of prestige they’re hoping for,” Berry said. “It definitely has potential, and I hope Steve and his group are able to be successful at this and make it a great place for us to race for years to come.”

Tire management is going to be a factor in Saturday’s extra-distance feature, the same as it was on Myrtle Beach’s worn asphalt.

“It will be similar to the Myrtle Beach 400,” Berry said. “I don’t think the tire wear and management will be quite as bad as it was at Myrtle Beach, but it is going to play out fairly similarly.”

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