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Josh Berry’s No. 4 “Rocket” Soars to Seventh Place in Inaugural Iowa Race

Josh Berry leads the NASCAR Cup Series field in the Iowa Corn 350 at Iowa Speedway (Photo: Patrick Vallely | The Podium Finish)

Josh Berry leading the NASCAR Cup Series field in the Iowa Corn 350 at Iowa Speedway (Photo: Patrick Vallely | The Podium Finish)

NEWTON, Iowa – A momentous weekend for NASCAR also turned out to be a very successful weekend for Josh Berry in the first ever Cup race at Iowa Speedway. 

Berry started out the weekend running a steady 20th in practice, but after some adjustments were made, the No. 4 Ford Mustang Dark Horse was able to qualify a stellar third for the Iowa Corn 350. 

In front of a sold-out crowd, the 36-car field put on quite the show for the inaugural event. Berry was competitive and consistent, running in the top-10 for most of the race. 

Different pit strategies came into play throughout the evening, with cautions being thrown at convenient times for some and inopportune times for others. The caution on Lap 183, for example, worked in Berry’s favor when many of the drivers farther back in the field decided to stay out on old tires while the leaders took to pit road.

However, the final caution of the night threw the No. 4 Stewart Haas Racing team for a loop. After taking the lead following the start of Stage 3 and holding onto it for 32 laps, Berry came down pit road and took four tires, while other teams called for two. This set Berry back a few positions coming off of pit road. A less-than-stellar restart involving contact with the No. 47 of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. set him even farther back. He was able to crawl his way back into the top 10 before the race ended, ultimately finishing in seventh place.

Josh Berry working with his crew at Iowa Speedway (Photo: Patrick Vallely | The Podium Finish)

Josh Berry working with his crew at Iowa Speedway (Photo: Patrick Vallely | The Podium Finish)

“I thought we had a really good race and a really good car,” Berry stated in a post-race interview. “To score stage points like we did, we had some great restarts in there and just that last restart didn’t really go our way. We lost a little bit of track position and just could never get it back, but all in all, just really proud of everybody on the 4 team. They did a great job. That was a lot of fun, for sure. We’re gonna keep digging to keep getting better.”

When asked about the contact with Stenhouse Jr. on the last restart, Berry did not think that it had as much of an effect on his momentum as people assumed. 

“I don’t know. It’s hard to say what that did. Obviously, it probably hurt it a little bit, but I think losing that much track position on the restart was more than anything. All in all, it was still a good day and I’m proud of our guys. We’ll keep digging.”

All eyes have been on the Stewart Haas Racing camp following the news of their operations shutting down. The question of where everyone will end up continues to hang in the air. Iowa was arguably one of Berry’s most competitive Cup races so far, making it clear that the team remains focused on consistency and staying in the game with the likes of Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing. 

Josh Berry's post on X following Sunday night's race at Iowa Speedway (Photo: X)

Josh Berry’s post on X following Sunday night’s race at Iowa Speedway (Photo: X)

Despite the adversity facing them, the No. 4 team is still banded together and determined to find victory lane this year. Berry’s rookie status has not held him back from success, as he has now accumulated three top-10 finishes and one top-five finish so far this season.

NASCAR will take on New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the USA Today 301 next Sunday at 2:30 PM EST on USA.

Jordan DeWitt is a Co-Managing Editor for The Podium Finish and a graduate of the University of Northwestern Ohio with a dual degree in Automotive and Alternate Fuels Technology. Jordan works as an office manager for a fencing company in Michigan, but outside of work, she lives and breathes motorsports. She hopes to play a role in paving the way for women in motorsports, as well to help people chase their dreams.

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