One of the top short track drivers in the country will finally get a shot to chase a NASCAR championship next season.
After impressing in a part-time role to start this season, Josh Berry secured a full-time ride with JR Motorsports in the No. 8 Chevrolet Camaro. The highlight of his campaign came in April when he captured his first series victory at Martinsville Speedway.
Berry drove the No. 8 for 13 of his 16 series appearances this year until Sam Mayer became old enough to take over for the rest of the season. Berry drove for Jordan Anderson Racing in his other three appearances.
He also made his Cup Series debut at Dover in May for Spire Motorsports.
Berry is one of the most decorated short track champions in pavement Late Model competition with victories in the prestigious Martinsville 300, Myrtle Beach 400 and Hampton Heat — the three crown jewels of Mid-Atlantic Late Model Stock racing.
He also has championship in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series and CARS Late Model Stock Tour.
Despite the resume, it’s been a challenge for Berry to secure the funding needed to race at the highest level, even with a resume this year that proved him capable of racing for wins and a championship. Team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. has implored potential sponsors to support them over the years but those conversation proved only partially fruitful until now.
Earnhardt first placed Berry in his Late Model Stock back 2010 after becoming friends in iRacing and the Tennessee short tracker became one of the most dominant forces in the discipline. At 30-years-old, Earnhardt and Company found Berry the means to chase a championship.
“This moment is something we’ve been working toward for a long time,” Earnhardt Jr. said in a release.
“Josh took full advantage of the opportunity he had this year in the No. 8 car. He went out, raced hard, and earned every bit of this. With all he’s accomplished on a limited schedule, I can’t wait to see what he can do in this series full time.”
Berry said in the statement that it was hard to articulate what this means to him.
“I’m just a local short track racer, so saying this is a dream come true seems like an understatement,” Berry said. “I’m so grateful to Dale, Kelley, L.W. [Miller] and everyone at JR Motorsports. They have always believed in me.
“This is the opportunity of a lifetime, and I’m ready and focused on 2022.”
JR Motorsports said additional details surrounding the No. 8 entry will be released in the coming weeks.
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