HICKORY, N.C. (March 19, 2018) – Josh Berry has long been known as the modern-day master of Hickory Motor Speedway, and the master delivered another lesson on Saturday night in the season opener at the legendary .363-mile speedway. Berry swept both ends of the twin 40-lap Late Model events to get his NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season off to a good start, and young teammate Sam Mayer finished runner-up to his teammate in the second 40-lap event.
In the first race, Berry started third in his No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet and passed into second quickly. He took the lead after 15 laps and led the rest of the way to the checkered flag. As is often the case at Hickory, there was an inversion following the first race, which meant Berry would start the second 40-lapper from eighth.
It didn’t seem to matter much, as Berry took advantage of an early caution period to sweep to the top spot on lap 12—passing polesitter Mayer for the lead. He paced the field the rest of the way to earn his second victory of the young season in just his third race. The twin triumphs are Berry’s 10th and 11th at HMS in the past three seasons, and the 13th and 14th over that span for JR Motorsports, as former driver Anthony Alfredo won there three times in 2017.
Josh Berry, driver No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet team
“We had a really great car from the time we got to Hickory this weekend. We qualified 3rd, but felt like we would be strong in the race and was able to get the first win. After the invert, you never really know what to expect, but we were able to gain some positions pretty quickly and work our way up. Overall, just a great job by all of our team to bring two great race cars to the track again. It is nice to get the first win of the season under our belt, and now we are going to look toward the CARS Tour race at Myrtle Beach this weekend.”