Josh Berry aims to keep emotions in check, focus on winning
Josh Berry wishes to be kept in mind for winning races, not middle-finger salutes.
However after providing one to Santino Ferrucci after crashing out of last Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Phoenix, the ruling NASCAR Weekly Series nationwide champ ended up being an unwitting social networks star.
“Yeah, there’s regrets,” Berry stated today throughout a media teleconference ahead of this weekend’s races at Atlanta Motor Speedway. “I know that’s not something I should do. I just let emotions get the best of me. … I would not do it again.
“Some people liked it, some people didn’t, but ultimately for me and where I’m at, it’s probably best that I don’t do things like that.”
Berry will pull “double duty” on Saturday and run both the Outdoor camping World Truck Series and Xfinity Series races. He’ll drive for Young’s Motorsports in the Truck race, subbing for Kris Wright after he evaluated favorable for COVID-19.
Then, Berry will continue his scheduled 12-race Xfinity run with JR Motorsports, where he’s raced in Late Designs for over a years.
Prior to this season, he made choose Xfinity starts (mainly for JR Motorsports) from 2014-17. However an absence of financing avoided him from more.
Now, he has the greatest shot of his profession – one that might potentially lead him to a full-time NASCAR trip. That implies a requirement to get outcomes.
Berry looked poised for a strong one in Phoenix. He had actually increased into the leading 3 throughout the last.
However throughout the care at Lap 133, he was captured speeding on pit roadway. He then made a return journey there for a loose wheel.
Off the reboot, Berry rapidly returned into the leading 15. However on Lap 148, contact with Ferrucci assisted send out Berry into the Turn 2 wall. Decreasing the back stretch, Berry suffered a left rear tire failure and spun into the Turn 3 wall.
Berry’s day was done. However not previously climbing up out of his cars and truck and informing Ferrucci, in such a way, that he was “number one.” Twice As so.
However, Berry wasn’t so frustrated with the wreck itself as he was with the missed opportunity.
“We had a great car,” Berry said. “I can’t stress that enough, how good we were. For this group to take a guy straight out of a late model car at Hickory (N.C.), take him to Phoenix which I’ve never seen, run in the top three, have one of the best cars and stand a chance to win the race is incredible.
“That’s where (the frustration) came. The reaction from all that has been mixed, but I know that’s not something I can do. I had my talk with Wayne and the guys at NASCAR, and it was straightforward. … As soon as we shut the hauler from Phoenix, we were ready to go to Atlanta.”
Atlanta will be Berry’s fifth start this season in the No. 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet. So far, it’s been hit or miss – two top 10 finishes, two crashes – with a lot of on-the-job training.
There’s more than just a new car and new tracks. It’s the art of restarts: Picking the right lane and making the right moves once the green flag drops.
Then there’s the little things on pit road: Running the right speed, getting in and out of the stall, and putting the car exactly where it needs to be for his over-the-wall crew.
Berry doesn’t have a full season to learn all of that. He only has a dozen races, and he’s already through four of them.
“In a way, I feel like I’m kind of thrown into it,” he admitted.
But he’s trying not to put extra pressure on himself than there already is from his team, his sponsors, and, perhaps most of all, the short track community he comes from.
He acknowledges “carrying the weight” of those racers in particular. He said he plans to race with them again next weekend in his Late Model.
And he’s optimistic that he can bring them a trophy from NASCAR’s number two division previously long.
Berry mentioned Martinsville Speedway, where he won in his Late Model in 2019, as a “great shot for us,” but he doesn’t want his team to think it’s their only shot. In his mind, they can win on Saturday, too.
“I believe in this (JR Motorsports) group and they believe in me,” Berry stated. “It’s really been a pleasure to work with them and get better each week.
“I think our best days are ahead of us.”
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Josh Berry intends to keep feelings in check, concentrate on winning initially appeared on NBCSports.com
Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.