Nearly Halfway to Phoenix: Berry, No. 8 Team On a Roll as Midseason Arrives

Ron Lemasters | 6/15/2022

Harrison's Jarrett Josh Berry News Tire Pros

In his first full-time season, Berry has picked up two wins so far this year and sits fourth in the points standings.

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (June 15, 2022) -- Josh Berry is in the midst of his first full-time season as a NASCAR Xfinity Series driver, and it's like the 31-year-old Tennessee native has been doing it all his life. Berry and his No. 8 Tire Pros/Harrison's USA squad has already won twice, and there's still 19 races yet to go.

After winning twice last season, Berry's prospects looked good to begin with, and having veteran crew chief Mike Bumgarner in his corner has helped immensely. Berry made five starts for Bumgarner in 2021 filling in for an injured Michael Annett, and the duo produced a victory at Las Vegas, a fourth-place run at Michigan and two more top-10 finishes in that span.

That familiarity helped build momentum early in 2022, as Berry recorded three top-four finishes in the season's first four races, marred only by a 16th-place effort in the season opener at Daytona.

A minor hiccup or two-33rd at Atlanta after crashing and 27th in a rough-and-tumble race at Circuit of the Americas-was cured by a seventh-place run at Richmond. A wild night at Martinsville (19th) and a strong run at Talladega (11th) set the stage for a four-race combo on tracks Berry knows and likes.

As an aside, over the first eight races of 2022, Berry had led just five laps, three of them at Atlanta and one each at both Daytona and Richmond. That would change...rapidly.

At Dover, Berry led 55 laps and held off JRM teammate Justin Allgaier (a two-time winner on the Monster Mile) to earn his first victory of the season, punching his playoff ticket in the process.

The following week at Darlington, Berry and Allgaier dueled at the front of the field again and Berry was in good position to make it two in a row before being called for a restart violation late in the going. That sent him back in the field and he rallied to finish 18th.

The next two events changed the outlook on the season for the No. 8 team. At Texas, Berry raced to a solid seventh-place finish, leading 46 laps. The following week at Charlotte, Berry and Allgaier duked it out between them for much of the 200-lap event after starting near the front of the field.

The two went at it and were fighting for the top spot when Allgaier got loose in Turns 1 and 2, sending his car up the track. Berry bobbled as well but recovered quickly. Allgaier cut a right rear tire and was forced to pit lane, while Berry went on to win the event, his second win of the season and the fourth of his now-31-race JR Motorsports NXS career. Berry paced the field for 89 laps at Charlotte.

At Portland International Raceway, Berry earned a fourth-place result in just his second career road-course start on a very challenging-and wet-circuit.

Over the last six races so far this season, Berry led four races for a total of 195 laps, giving him 200 for the season. Those go along with the two wins, six top-five and eight top-10 results and a solid placing in series points.

It bears mentioning that Bumgarner and Berry have been a team for just 19 starts over parts of two seasons, and already have three victories, eight top-five and 12 top-10 results.

"We're still learning about each other, what I like about the car, and it's taking a little bit of time," Berry said. "We're definitely in a good spot. We have a lot of momentum on our side, we're going to a lot of good race tracks and I think we can continue to contend for wins, win some stages, build some playoff points and get ready for September."

As a group, Berry said that all the JRM cars have been fast all year long, and that the trend is pointing up all around.

"I feel like we've been really solid," Berry said. "We've had a lot of speed...all of our JRM cars have been really fast, and we had a couple of races that really got away from us, but generally I think we've been getting better every week. I like the direction of where our team is going, we're learning more about each other every week and continuing to get better."

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XFINITY Series Schedule

  • July 9 05:00 PM ET
    Alsco Uniforms 250Atlanta Motor Speedway
  • July 16 02:30 PM ET
    NXS Race at New HampshireNew Hampshire Motor Speedway
  • July 23 05:00 PM ET
    NXS Race at PoconoPocono Raceway
  • July 30 03:30 PM ET
    Pennzoil 150Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course
  • August 6 03:30 PM ET
    NXS Race at MichiganMichigan International Speedway

XFINITY Series Standings

After Henry 180

Road America | 7/2/2022
RankDriverPointsBehind
1AJ Allmendinger6340
2Ty Gibbs625-9
3Justin Allgaier600-34
4Noah Gragson595-39
5Josh Berry560-74
6Brandon Jones495-139
7Sam Mayer487-147