Berry Heads to Final NASCAR Weekly Series Weekend In a Very Good Position for Title

Photo by Dinah Mullins

Ron Lemasters | 10/16/2020

All Things Automotive Josh Berry Late Model NASCAR Weekly Series News

On the final weekend of the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Racing Series for 2020, JRM's Josh Berry looks to emerge with both his and the team's first national Late Model championship.

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Oct. 16, 2020) – After a summer spent chasing it, the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Racing Series journey by Josh Berry and the All Things Automotive/iRacing team from JR Motorsports is about to come to an end.

If everything goes well, the weekend will end Sunday with Berry atop the national standings and carrying the new title of National Champion.

This one, should he emerge with the trophy, will be Berry’s fifth overall in 10 seasons with JRM, and it will be the first national title for the organization in anything but the NASCAR Xfinity Series, where JRM has won three of them in the past six years.

This weekend, the counting stops in the race for the NASCAR Weekly Series, and the Tennessee native holds a 32-point advantage over Peyton Sellers in the national standings. On Saturday, Berry will compete at Hickory Motor Speedway in the annual Fall Brawl and on Sunday, he will journey to Southern National Motorsports Park in Lucama, N.C. for twin 40-lap events to cap off the season. By Tuesday, when the weekly points are updated, we’ll know for sure if Berry is the winner.

Berry, the 2016 CARS LMSC Owners’ champion and its 2017 driver titlist, also has track championships at Hickory Motor Speedway and Motor Mile Speedway to his credit, and last year won the prestigious ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway to check that milestone off his personal list.

The NASCAR Weekly Racing Series title is a whole other prospect, however, as it crowns one champion among the multitudes of regional racers around the country.

Thanks to a dust-up in a CARS Tour race at Ace Speedway earlier this season, however, the shift in focus just made sense.

The 29-year-old Berry finished fourth in the CARS Tour season opener at Southern National in March, just before the pandemic hit, postponing the CARS Tour season until June. In the first race back, at Ace Speedway, Berry came out on the wrong end of contact with Bobby McCarty while battling for the lead on a restart. McCarty struck the left rear of Berry’s No. 88, sending him into the wall and breaking a shock mount.

The two had had several on-track run-ins over the previous seasons, and Berry had been dumped out of a couple of race wins. After fixing his car and returning to the track, Berry returned the favor in true racer’s fashion and McCarty ended up against the inside wall and out of the race.

CARS Tour officials parked Berry for the remainder of the race and disqualified him, tacking on a one-race suspension for the following week’s race at Hickory, where Berry has been dominant. The suspension effectively ended his hopes of another CARS Tour title, so Berry made a choice.

“That was obviously a big part of it,” Berry said earlier this week of chasing the NASCAR crown this season. “We were kind of adjusting our schedule anyway, and the suspension from the CARS Tour kind of just lined it all up to where we thought that this is the opportunity to try to do it.”

Never having battled for the national title was more a matter of opportunity than anything else, Berry said.

“I never really thought we would have the opportunity to do it,” he said. “It’s such a commitment and a lot of racing. I had a lot more goals before this one. Winning a lot of races, winning Martinsville, the track championships, the CARS Tour championship...it’s really kind of amazing that we are here and have put ourselves in this spot.”

The point system in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series counts the 14 best finishes for each driver involved. As of today, Berry has 23 victories, so all of his points-counting events are wins. His chief rival, No. 2-ranked Peyton Sellers, has nine heading to the weekend. Making up a 32-point deficit in a single weekend is a tall order any way you slice it, but Berry won’t know for sure if he’s won the title until Tuesday afternoon, when the point standings are updated.

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XFINITY Series Schedule

XFINITY Series Standings

After NXS Championship

Phoenix Raceway | 11/6/2021
RankDriverPointsBehind
1Daniel Hemric (P)40400
2Austin Cindric (P)4035-5
3Noah Gragson (P)4025-15
4AJ Allmendinger (P)4023-17
5Justin Allgaier2300-1740
6Justin Haley2244-1796
7Brandon Jones2239-1801
15Michael Annett638-3402
25Sam Mayer #338-3702