An important member of the JR Motorsports driver roster just accomplished a major goal. Josh Berry capped off his Late Model season with his first win in the Thanksgiving Classic at Southern National Motorsports Park, setting the stage for his move to the NASCAR Xfinity Series season.
The Tennessee native won the pole position for the high-profile race, which took place on Sunday, November 28. He led the field to the green flag but spent the first 50-lap segment running the top five. Berry then started the second segment fourth but retook his lead and held on to finish out the second segment at lap 100.
Berry fell to third during the final segment, but he was able to chase down both Deac McCaskill and Brenden Queen to retake the top spot on lap 117. The veteran driver pulled away from his opponents and captured the checkered flag, surpassing a previous best finish in the Thanksgiving Classic of 24th in 2016.
“We raced at SNMP a good bit last year throughout our national title run, so I felt pretty confident going back there for this race,” Berry said after the race, per JR Motorsports. “The car was really good from when we unloaded, and we were just able to tweak on it from there. It was really cool to check off another big win for our team. Even though I haven’t been able to race the Late Model quite as much this year, we had a really strong season with it and scored several big wins.”
Berry Will Hand Over the Late Model Car to Another Driver
The Thanksgiving Classic win served as a fitting end to Berry’s full-time run with the JR Motorsports Late Model program. It capped off a year in which he won seven of his nine starts while also dabbling in the Xfinity Series.
Berry will now move to the No. 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro on a full-time basis in 2022 and compete for Xfinity Series playoff points. This schedule change means that he will have to shift his focus to NASCAR while only running a limited number of Late Model races.
With Berry joining the Xfinity Series, another driver will replace him in the No. 8 Late Model. Carson Kvapil will run the full season for JR Motorsports while trying to bring even more wins to the storied program.
Berry Already Has Some Sponsors in Place for 2022
Berry’s move to the Xfinity Series also marks the start of another season with a key partner. He will join forces with Tire Pros once again while driving the No. 8 Chevrolet Camaro.
JR Motorsports issued a press release on August 17 and confirmed that Tire Pros will return to the No. 8 for nine races during the 2022 season. The company previously joined Berry for six races during the 2021 season and Sam Mayer for another three.
Along with Tire Pros, Berry will also work with a sponsor making its debut in a NASCAR national series. Harrison’s Workwear will join him for eight races during the 2022 season. The company has supported regional racers in the Carolinas, but joining the No. 8 will be a significant move.
“We’ve always felt a lot pride in having a family-owned business,” said Kelley Earnhardt Miller, JRM general manager, in a statement on August 19. “Danny [Harrison] and his family share those same values. They’ve seen and believe in Josh’s potential. We’re looking forward to helping Harrison’s expand its brand next year and into the future.”