Josh Berry is no stranger to going in circles, especially around short tracks as the reigning NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series national champion and having scored his first Xfinity Series win at Martinsville in April. On Wednesday, he revealed his 2021 schedule will also include some road racing as he has joined Jordan Anderson Racing for the Xfinity Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on 5 June.
After making sporadic Xfinity starts between 2014 and 2017, Berry increased his slate in 2021 with JR Motorsports for a Rookie of the Year campaign. In April, he won his first race at Martinsville, while his last two starts at Darlington and Dover ended with runner-up finishes. While he is not running the full schedule, his win, three top fives, and five top tens are good for fifteenth in the standings.
Berry’s 2021 has also included working as a substitute driver for Chevrolet teams. In March, he ran his first Camping World Truck Series race since 2016 when he filled in for Kris Wright, who tested positive for COVID-19, at Atlanta and finished twenty-second. Another COVID-related backup role came in mid-May at Dover when he finished thirtieth in his Cup Series début for Spire Motorsports as Justin Haley‘s replacement.
“I have made sixteen Xfinity starts throughout my career, all on ovals,” Berry stated. “This is a great opportunity to get in another great Chevrolet race car fielded by Jordan Anderson Racing and add a road course to my résumé. After the win at Martinsville this year with JRM, I am excited to see what the rest of the season has in store, and any opportunity to gain more experience helps us build for the future.”
Jordan Anderson Racing has primarily competed in the Truck Series but hoped to run the full 2021 Xfinity schedule with the eponymous owner/driver in the #31. However, a qualifying rainout for the season opener at Daytona locked the team out of the grid over the first ten races, nine of which had no qualifying. JAR finally débuted last Saturday at Circuit of the Americas, also a road course, with Tyler Reddick who finished eighth.
“Like Tyler did for us last week, (Berry) has the ability to bring a lot of talent and experience to the table for our team to evaluate where we are, grow, and lay the groundwork for the future,” Anderson added. “I am grateful to everyone at the Bommarito Automotive Group and Chevrolet for standing behind our team and giving Josh this opportunity.”
Reddick is in the #31 for the upcoming race at Charlotte. The weekend will also have qualifying, making it a critical effort for JAR as a strong run to make the race will also put the #31 in a comfortable position for the following week at Mid-Ohio and later events. As Berry has won a race in the last calendar year, any car with him as its driver is given some additional weight in determining the grid for non-qualifying events.