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NASCAR Cup Series

Josh Berry Places Third in Darlington

Josh Berry

Josh Berry driving to the front of the field at Darlington Raceway (Photo: Kevin Ritchie | The Podium Finish)

DARLINGTON, S.C. — Josh Berry took home a third-place finish from his first visit to Darlington Raceway in Sunday’s Goodyear 400.

Berry may be a rookie in the Cup Series. However, he is no stranger to success at “The Lady in Black.”

Throughout six starts in the NASCAR XFINITY Series at Darlington, Berry secured four top-10 finishes. The start to his first race weekend at Darlington with Stewart-Haas Racing, however, did not have top-10 speed. The Hendersonville, Tennessee, native drove a 0.608-second lap around the 1.366-mile track after logging 28 laps in Saturday’s practice session.

Saturday morning’s qualifying session did not yield any quicker pace for Berry and the No. 4 team after he qualified in the 33rd position.

It did not take long for Berry to gain track position. By Lap 5 of the race, the 33-year-old worked his way up to 30th. With 24 green-flag laps completed in the race, Berry drove up to 26th. By Lap 54 of the 90-lap stage, Berry battled up to 23rd after green flag pit stops.

With 10 laps remaining in the first stage, Berry made his way inside the top 20 and moved up to 17th in the final laps of Stage 1, missing out on stage points.

Berry maintained his position throughout the opening laps of Stage 2 and sped to 14th place after just 25 laps completed in the stage. Berry was inside the top 10 sitting in eighth place after a caution for Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Blaney on Lap 129.

After another caution for Zane Smith, Berry fell back to 12th with 14 laps remaining in the stage. Berry was unable to gain back his track position in the closing laps of Stage 2, logging a 12th place stage finish, narrowly missing out on stage points again.

Josh Berry

Josh Berry showcased raw speed in the late going of Sunday’s Goodyear 400 at Darlington. (Photo: Kyle Ritchie | The Podium Finish)

Conversely, Berry drove his way back inside the top 10 in the opening laps of the final stage. Again showing incredible pace, Berry drove to seventh place with 62 laps remaining in the 293-lap race.

After the final pit stops of the day followed by another caution, Berry was able to maintain seventh place. In the final 30 laps of the race, Berry drove to third place after Tyler Reddick and Chris Buescher made contact with the wall in Turn 4 on Lap 285.

“It was just a really good day,” Berry said. “We had a really good car yesterday in practice. Unfortunately, we didn’t qualify where we should’ve. A lot to take away from that. But overall, the car was really strong.

“We know we’re capable of days like this, we just need to keep chipping away at it, keep learning, keep getting better. I have a great group of people around me and this is a finish they deserve, for sure.”

This was Berry’s first top-five finish in the Cup Series. If he and the No. 4 team are able to build on what they learned in Darlington and gain more momentum in the second half of the regular season, this will be the first of numerous top-five finishes for Berry.

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