Josh Berry talks with team members prior to a practice session at Martinsville Speedway. (Andy Marquis/ photo)

Josh Berry comes into the ValleyStar Credit Union with a ton of momentum after scoring wins at numerous different racetracks during the 2016 season – but he knows he will need luck on his side to make it happen.

Berry has scored four wins in CARS Tour competition this season while also scoring numerous victories at other tracks, including Greenville-Pickens Speedway and Myrtle Beach Speedway, this season.  Berry would like to cap the season off with a win in Late Model Stock Car racing’s most prestigious event, the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway.

“We’ve obviously had a really great year and won at a lot of different racetracks,” Berry said.  “CARS, NASCAR, everything.  This year, this is what we’re shooting for.  We want to win.  In the end, we just have to be smart, be there at the end to have a shot at it.”

Berry said the 2016 season has been the best season of his career.

“This is by far the best season I’ve ever had,” Berry remarked.  “We’ve won races before the past couple years but this year, I haven’t raced as much but still won more races.  Feel good about it.  We’re right there with the cars we need to be so we should have a shot.”

Berry credits a combination of luck, experience and evolution as a driver for his season success.  He also says the JR Motorsports team he races for has brought better cars to the track this season.

“As I get more experience and get older, I think I’m getting better and we’re getting better as a team and bringing good cars to the racetrack,” Berry explained.  “It’s hard to say.  Sometimes, you just have things go your way and that’s us.  We’ve been fortunate this year.  We haven’t been in any wrecks or anything.  We’ve been there at the end, been up front and won a lot of races.”

The $25,000 check that goes to the winner of the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 and the grandfather clock from Ridgeway Clocks is the ultimate prize in Late Model Stock Car racing.  Berry, like everyone else, has his sights set on those prizes.

“It would be big,” Berry stated.  “The way I look at it, this is all I have left to check off, reasonably.  The team is not going to compete for a national title.  They don’t want to race 50 times.  They want to run 20-25 races so we’re shooting at 50 percent win percentage which is pretty good so we’ll put our focus to this weekend.

“If we win, it would be huge for us, our team and Dale and everybody.  It’s what we want to try to do but it would take a lot to do.”

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. scored a Martinsville victory of his own in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series back in October 2014.  The night before that race, he had watched Josh Berry win the Fall Brawl at Hickory Motor Speedway and said that had given him motivation to win.  After the race, an emotional Earnhardt celebrated his victory with exuberance.

Berry was celebrating with Earnhardt and knows how much it would mean to his team owner if he can score the win on Sunday.

“I was there celebrating with him after Martinsville and I know what it meant,” Berry commented.  “This would mean a lot to him so we, we give it 110 percent every race we go to so we’re not going to change anything here obviously.  We’re going to do the best we can, try to prepare the best racecar and just be smart, be there at the end and if we get some luck fall our way, we might be bringing home a clock.”

Despite Berry’s success in Late Model Stock Car racing, he has never finished better than 13th in the ValleyStar Credit Union 300.  Berry finished 13th in 2014 and 2015.  He failed to make the field in 2013 and had a 40th place finish in 2011 and a 33rd place finish in 2012.