NASCAR Xfinity Series

Josh Berry leads JR Motorsports 1–2–3 in Vegas

3 Mins read
Credit: Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Josh Berry was supposed to be spending his Saturday night at Martinsville Speedway competing in the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 late model race. Instead, the 2019 winner was at Las Vegas Motor Speedway driving the #1 of JR Motorsports in place of the injured Michael Annett. The so-called “super sub” for Chevrolet teams more than delivered in relief duty as he led the final seventeen laps and JR Motorsports team-mates Justin Allgaier and Noah Gragson en route to winning his second career NASCAR Xfinity Series race in the Alsco Uniforms 302.

Austin Cindric started on the pole ahead of regular season champion A.J. Allmendinger, and the former would lead until the competition caution on lap 29. Hell broke loose on the ensuing restart when Riley Herbst was clipped entering turn one, triggering a massive wreck that collected Brandon Brown, Jeb Burton, Jeremy Clements, Bayley Currey, Ty Dillon, Joe Graf Jr., Alex Labbé, Dylan Lupton, Sam Mayer, B.J. McLeod, and J.J. Yeley. After cleanup, the first lap concluded with a five-lap run that Allmendinger won ahead of future Kaulig Racing team-mate Daniel Hemric, Cindric, Ty Gibbs, Noah Gragson, Harrison Burton, Ryan Sieg, Brandon Jones, Berry, and Brett Moffitt.

Dillon kicked off Stage #2 by leading seventeen laps, his most in NASCAR since he led sixteen in the 2017 Richmond fall race. During his run, Sieg spun on lap 55 and hit Jade Buford, resulting in the lone caution of the stage. Allgaier took the lead on lap 66 and held it to the finish. Dillon, Cindric, Gragson, Hemric, Berry, Gibbs, Moffitt, Allmendinger, and Haley closed out the top ten.

Allgaier continued to lead as the final stage commenced. On lap 122, Moffitt bumped Haley shortly after being passed and caused him to spin. On lap 160, Berry claimed the top spot from his JRM ally and only briefly relinquished it during green-flag pit stops, during which Haley and Allgaier enjoyed some time in front. Berry cycled back to the lead on lap 185 and would not give up the spot as he secured his second career Xfinity win.

Some fans saw the reigning Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series champion’s victory as an indictment of Annett, who brings sponsorship to the JRM #1 but only has one victory in five years with the team, and the role of funding in the sport; Berry often struggled to find adequate financial support to become an Xfinity regular, but will finally get such a shot with JRM in 2022. Others drew parallels between his win and Christian Eckes‘ in Friday’s Camping World Truck Series event: both were part-time drivers who were not competing in the playoffs while their teams swept the top three spots; Eckes’ ThorSport Racing team took it a step further with a 1–2–3–4 finish. JRM’s fourth car of Mayer finished thirty-fourth after the wreck.

“Me and Justin raced together a lot this year and most of them, he’s gotten the better of me,” said Berry. “Today, we were able to get one. This is cool.”

Race results

FinishStartNumberDriverTeamManufacturerLapsStatus
1151Josh BerryJR MotorsportsChevrolet201Running
237Justin AllgaierJR MotorsportsChevrolet201Running
399Noah GragsonJR MotorsportsChevrolet201Running
4122Austin CindricTeam PenskeFord201Running
5718Daniel HemricJoe Gibbs RacingToyota201Running
6819Brandon JonesJoe Gibbs RacingToyota201Running
7216A.J. AllmendingerKaulig RacingChevrolet201Running
82831Ty DillonJordan Anderson RacingChevrolet201Running
9411Justin HaleyKaulig RacingChevrolet201Running
10520Harrison BurtonJoe Gibbs RacingToyota201Running
11654Ty GibbsJoe Gibbs RacingToyota200Running
122702Brett MoffittOur MotorsportsChevrolet200Running
133615Bayley Currey*JD MotorsportsChevrolet200Running
141944Tommy Joe MartinsMartins MotorsportsChevrolet200Running
15122Myatt SniderRichard Childress RacingChevrolet200Running
16374Landon CassillJD MotorsportsChevrolet200Running
172039Ryan SiegRSS RacingFord199Running
182647Kyle WeathermanMike Harmon RacingChevrolet199Running
19316Ryan VargasJD MotorsportsChevrolet199Running
202423Blaine PerkinsOur MotorsportsChevrolet198Running
213861David StarrMBM MotorsportsToyota197Running
221668Brandon BrownBrandonbilt MotorsportsChevrolet197Running
233078Mason MasseyB.J. McLeod MotorsportsToyota197Running
241892Josh WilliamsDGM RacingChevrolet196Running
253290Spencer Boyd*DGM RacingChevrolet196Running
262348Jade BufordBig Machine RacingChevrolet195Running
273466Matt JaskolMBM MotorsportsToyota195Running
28295Matt MillsB.J. McLeod MotorsportsChevrolet194Running
29220Jeffrey EarnhardtJD MotorsportsChevrolet194Running
303999B.J. McLeod*B.J. McLeod MotorsportsChevrolet193Running
313552Carson WareJimmy Means RacingToyota113Electrical
324074C.J. McLaughlinMike Harmon RacingChevrolet100Overheating
331098Riley HerbstStewart-Haas RacingFord31Accident
34118Sam MayerJR MotorsportsChevrolet31Accident
352526Dylan Lupton*Sam Hunt RacingToyota31Accident
361410Jeb BurtonKaulig RacingChevrolet30Accident
373317J.J. YeleySS-Green Light RacingChevrolet30Accident
381736Alex LabbéDGM RacingChevrolet30Accident
391351Jeremy ClementsJeremy Clements RacingChevrolet30Accident
402107Joe Graf Jr.SS-Green Light RacingChevrolet30Accident
Bold – Currently in playoffs
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for Xfinity points
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History major at San Jose State University and lifelong motorsports fan who covers NASCAR and the Stadium Super Trucks.
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