Three victories between Hickory Motor Speedway and Southern National Motorsports Park this past weekend capped of a dominant season for Josh Berry, who claimed the first NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series championship of his career.
“This is awesome,” Berry said. “We had such an unbelievable season in the Weekly Series and a title was something I had been waiting to achieve for a while. It was really cool to check this off and bring a national championship home to JR Motorsports.”
Normally occupied with full-time duties in the Solid Rock Carriers CARS LMSC Tour, Berry decided to focus on the NASCAR Weekly Series after he was suspended for one race following a collision between him and Bobby McCarty at Ace Speedway.
Once he committed to the Weekly Series, Berry consistently faced challenges from Ryan Millington and Peyton Sellers all along the East Coast, but he also had to worry about Midwest competitor Jacob Goede, who won the national championship in 2019.
Berry proved to be one step ahead of his competition by stringing together victories and strong runs at Hickory, Southern National, Langley Speedway, Dominion Raceway and the now-defunct Myrtle Beach Speedway, which helped him clinch the title by 28 points over Sellers.
Berry admitted that racing on such a regular basis was both a physical and mental challenge for himself and everyone involved on his team, but he was thrilled to see all of the hard work and determination with a Weekly Series title.
“It was really tough,” Berry said. “The national championship is such a grind and it’s really hard on equipment and people, but thankfully we had a very good season. We stayed out of trouble, avoided mechanical failures and got ourselves some wins, so that made everything pretty sweet.”
With his title, Berry joins an exclusive list of short track competitors who have a NASCAR championship on their resume, which includes familiar faces to Berry in Lee Pulliam and Philip Morris, who have won the Weekly Series crown nine times between them.
Berry considers himself honored to win a Weekly Series crown against many of the best drivers along the East Coast, but he currently does not have any plans to pursue another one due to the demands of committing to a normally rigorous schedule.
“I don’t know if I’m going to defend this title yet, but I would say probably not,” Berry said. “It’s a tough thing to accomplish, and this year fell under special circumstances with the season shorter. “I’ll never say never, but it’s going to be hard for me to go back down that road again.”
Berry will be back on track this weekend as he attempts to pursue a $30,000 paycheck in the CARS LMSC Tour Old North State Nationals at Greenville-Pickens Speedway.