Three years after his first attempt at a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut, Tanner Berryhill will finally get his chance. On Wednesday, Obaika Racing announced the Bixby, Oklahoma native has returned to the team for Sunday’s Can-Am 500 at ISM Raceway.
“I’m so excited to be racing for Obaika Racing again, and to be in the Cup Series is just incredible,” Berryhill stated in a team release. “I’m so thankful to (owner) Victor Obaika for the chance to race his car, and to Excel Therapy and VroomBrands for the support. I’m so excited to work along with the team this weekend!”
In October, Berryhill failed to qualify for the Xfinity Series‘ Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval race due to mechanical trouble. The attempt was Berryhill’s first NASCAR national series run since 2015, when he was unable to make his Cup debut at Phoenix with Premium Motorsports following a DNQ.
Berryhill has started 40 Xfinity Series races between 2012 and 2014, including the full 2014 season with Vision Racing in the #17 car. That year, he recorded his best career finish of seventeenth at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and ended the season twenty-second in points. In addition to stock cars, he has spent 2018 competing in midget cars.
2018 is Obaika’s first in the Cup Series after running in the Xfinity Series since 2015. In mid-October, the team attempted to make its Cup debut at Talladega Superspeedway with David Starr, but failed to qualify. Weeks later, the team qualified for the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway with Starr, finishing thirty-ninth.
Berryhill has two career starts at Phoenix, both during the 2014 Xfinity/Nationwide season, finishing twenty-eighth and thirty-third. Obaika has run five races at the track during its time in NASCAR’s second-tier series with Peyton Sellers, Dylan Kwasniewsi, Harrison Rhodes, Josh Bilicki, and Stephen Leicht. Bilicki holds the team’s best finish at Phoenix with twenty-eighth in 2016. However, ISM Raceway is sporting a new layout starting with the upcoming weekend’s races.