Bobby McCarty and Josh Berry made contact on the final lap of the CARS Tour race at Motor Mile Speedway three weeks ago. The contact left Berry spinning and McCarty winning. The two agree it was hard racing but they haven’t spoken to one another despite being friends before the incident.
Berry had a dominant car at Motor Mile and led 124 3/4 laps of a 125 lap contest before a caution waved for a spun car on the final lap. In the interest of providing a green flag finish, the CARS Tour doesn’t end the race under caution. Rather they line the cars back up and race until a green flag finish can be seen. That scenario left Berry and McCarty racing hard on the final lap with only one of them making it back around.
In the immediate aftermath of the race, Berry was frustrated with the contact while McCarty was apologetic. The two veteran drivers and former CARS Tour champions have had a few weeks off from racing and both have looked at the replays. Berry says he still doesn’t agree with the series not sending McCarty to the back for the contact.
“As far as the race, I went back and studied it,” Berry told RACE22.com. “I studied restarts prior to that and that restart. I know what happened. I disagree with the call but sometimes you’re going to be on the wrong side of that. All you can do is put your head down and just try to do better and keep yourself out of those scenarios.”
McCarty still feels the same way he did when it happened.
“I still feel the same about it,” McCarty told RACE22.com. “It’s hard racing. He definitely had the car to win without a doubt. It’s unfortunate the way it played out, he should have won the race.”
Both drivers question the last lap caution. Despite the fact that the caution gave McCarty a chance to win, he thinks that the caution should have never been waved and that Berry should have won.
“I really don’t agree with that caution coming out over the 14,” McCarty continued. “We could have finished that race under green and been safe for everybody. He was well out of the groove and it wasn’t like it happened in three and four, I think we should have finished the race.”
Berry said he’s been on both sides of the last lap caution.
“I form my opinion of what happened and everybody is going to see it different,” Berry stated. “Both of those to me I couldn’t wrap my head around especially the one that brought out the caution. I can’t believe that one was let go. As much as we dominated I wasn’t surprised they called the caution to make a show of it. I just can’t believe he wasn’t put to the back. I can see me and Bobby being just racing but that one really blew my mind.”
“I know the rules, it’s there to provide a good finish,” Berry continued. “I’ve won 14-15 CARS Tour races and every one of them I hold my breath on the white flag lap. I was the beneficiary to that caution before, it’s just racing. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for us this time.
Berry’s biggest frustration is that he feels like a lot of excuses were used about why the wreck happens and he just wants everyone to tell the truth.
“Bobby was racing for the win in that scenario,” Berry commented. “It always seems to go back to something that happened, something at Ace, something here or there. I just wish people would just say what it was. We were racing hard, I mean he went up higher to hit me and try and clear me and that’s what it was. Me and him have raced each other clean but it kinda leads back to my comment after the race. I think he went from winning a lot of races to not winning for a while and I’ve been in that scenario. I know he was hungry to win, it’s just kinda how it went.”
McCarty didn’t appreciate the comments immediately after the race where Berry said he was a disgruntled racer.
“I’ve never heard of disgruntled racer before,” McCarty joked. “I’m frustrated for sure but mostly with myself, I ain’t going to lie it’s been frustrating. I’ve been doing this since I was six and I’ve earned it all the way. I’ve worked for what I have gotten in this deal. At the end of the day, a win is a win and on paper, it says it’s a win but I know we finished second that night. That’s the way I look at it, we had a second place car. Winning races that way to me, that’s not how I want to win them. We haven’t won a race in a long time and I want to win the race the right way. I want to have the best car and win it straight up and down. Just because I haven’t won in a long time doesn’t mean I’m going to go take someone out to win.”
Berry said the comment was just in the heat of the moment.
“I think that my comment was a little off the cuff, I probably wouldn’t have said it if I had it to do over again.”
Berry said that the move coming to the white flag for McCarty to get under him caught him by surprise.
“I really didn’t know that Bobby was clear to make the move there,” Berry stated. “On the previous restarts the 57 (Justin Carroll) was tucked to my rear there and our car didn’t fire off the best. Each restart our car didn’t get going well and on this particular restart Bobby was clear to make that move and I just didn’t know it. If I could have kept that from happening we wouldn’t have been in the position we were in.
Asked if his spotter could have done a better job, Berry didn’t point fingers.
“In the heat of the moment I’m not sure what I was told,” Berry said. “I was under the impression the 57 was pressuring me more than he was. That’s just racing. All you can do is be better next time.”
McCarty also thought he caught Berry by surprise.
“I think it threw him off a little bit,” McCarty commented. “He could get off the corner better. It was like his car took a couple of laps to get going. I don’t think he was expecting it. I think when he heard clear, I don’t think he was expecting the crossover. Either that or when he heard clear he was expecting a shot in the rear bumper. Which I could have done but I wanted to race it out, so I drove underneath him. I don’t think he was expecting just to hear inside.”
McCarty said that just because Berry had the best car and should have won, didn’t mean he would just roll over on the final restart.
“At the end of the day it’s my job to try winning races and I did what I felt I needed to do,” McCarty continued. “He was obviously upset and I would have been too. I had it happened five times in one season when I first starting running for Nelson Motorsports. I know where he’s coming from. I really hate it and I don’t want to take a win from anybody. Up until that race we were friends and I talked to Josh a lot and he knows I don’t race that way or at least I thought he did. It was hard racing and he was pinching me and we just touched wheels. Just because he had the car to win doesn’t mean I had to ride there and finish second. I’ve never put on my suit and went out there and thought I’m going out here to finish second. The end result could have been different. You have to know who you’re racing with and know when it’s intentional or not.”
Neither driver has reached out to the other and Berry says he didn’t expect a call.
“I didn’t expect to hear one way or the other,” Berry stated. “We might talk this weekend but it’s hard to tell.
McCarty says he has nothing feel guilty for and that’s why he didn’t reach out.
“Nah I’m kinda at my point with it man,” McCarty said. “I’ve raced everyone clean. Things happen and you get frustrated. I’ve been there and I know how mad he was. I don’t appreciate being called names and he knows me personally and knows I don’t race like that. I only care about what my team thinks. Love me or hate me, I’m not there for them, I’m there for Nelson Motorsports and Solid Rock Carriers and I don’t care what anyone else says.”
Both drivers have high expectations going into the CARS Tour race at Langley Speedway this weekend. Which could put them at the front of the field battling for a win.
“Pretty good expectations going into this week,” Berry said. “We’ve been running really well over the last little bit. We should be able to be in contention.”
“We’re going there to win,” McCarty commented. “We struggled at the beginning of the season and at the end of last year. Langley has been good to us we’ve run first and third there in two starts. Contact took us totally out of contention to win last year but we’re finding some speed here lately.”
Berry says he knows what to expect at the end of the race if both drivers are up front and in contention for the win. But says he isn’t going there with any intention to wreck McCarty.
“I think everybody already knows we’re going to race each other hard,” Berry stated. “I don’t go into these races with the mindset to get even. The last thing I’m worried about is what he’s doing or getting caught up in racing. I go to each one of these races to win, not to take someone out.”
McCarty says he won’t do anything any different than he did at Motor Mile.
“I feel that everything happened was a product of hard racing,” McCarty commented. “Again, I’m there to win races. Sometimes it’ll play out for you and sometimes it’ll play against you. You’re going 100mph and trying to control a car that’s out of control. I’m going for a win no matter what.”
When asked if he thought Berry would retaliate or owed him one, McCarty said the ball is in Berry’s court.
“To be honest I’m not sure,” McCarty continued. “I was going to reach out to him and talk to him but I don’t feel guilty about any of it. I know for sure it was just hard racing. Josh is a hard racer and a good racer. The ball is in his court and we’ll see what happens. At the end of the day, it’s just one of those deals. Hope nothing happens that’s blatantly intentional but if it does we’ll go from there.”
Berry says he doesn’t want to race like that and doesn’t think the rules would be applied the same way if he did.
“It’s just hard to say, I don’t want to race like that,” Berry continued. “I don’t want to think that because I’m fairly certain that if I was to get inside someone and spin them around I would damn sure get put to the back.”
The CARS Tour race at Langley Speedway this weekend will certainly have a lot of eyes upon it. A great crowd is expected and of course, if you can’t make it to the track, RACE22.com will have lap by lap updates of all the action on our RACEDAY LIVE coverage starting with the first practice.