From Concord to Charlotte, Josh Berry's NASCAR Journey Comes Full Circle

The multi-time short track champion says he's doing things he didn't think was possible.


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It’s happening with such regularity these days that every Josh Berry victory is the biggest win of his career, but the Alsco 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway once again checked all the boxes.

After a decade of winning a half dozen Late Model Stock races at nearby Concord Speedway, it meant a lot for Berry to win at the big track. The victory was also the first for JR Motorsports in its backyard in its 16th season of competition.

Saturday was also arguably the victory where the novelty wore off on Berry winning at the second highest level of Stock Car competition.

Martinsville (2021) was definition feel good.
Las Vegas (2021) was surprising.
Dover (2022) was a statement.
Charlotte (2022) established Berry as a bonafide championship threat and likely fixture for the foreseeable future.

That he accomplished this latest fete against teammate Justin Allgaier -- a 15-year veteran with 17 Xfinity Series wins -- was even more rewarding. It forced Berry to dig deep down deep and even frustrate his teammate at times. It was a testament to his moxie.

"The battle with Justin was so intense," Berry said. "It just seems like we always find each other and battle each other every week ... He came over to Victory Lane and told me 'good job' and we talked about our guys and the work they've done to get us to this level.

"There were five of us in the top-8 and it's like that almost every week. We're going to have to race each other more often than not. He's a very underrated race car driver, so good, and the reality is also that we're pushing each other to be better every weekend."

There was a time Berry was content to be winning races down the road at the short track. Approaching his 30s, the window to become a top-level NASCAR driver was closing when Dale Earnhardt Jr. and company finally secured the partial season sponsorship package that got him in the No. 8 Xfinity Series car last spring.

Combined with an injury to Michael Annett, Berry responded incredibly well to the current Xfinity platform with those first two wins. Now he has two more across the first 13 starts of his debut championship chasing campaign.

Despite a CARS Tour championship and track championships at Hickory and Motor Mile, the 2020 NASCAR Weekly Series national champion never thought he was capable of developing this skillset and defeating this level of competition.

"I've been running up and down the east coast, the Carolinas and Virginias, running Late Models, but the reality is that I never thought I could do things like this," Berry said. "I am so thankful for the opportunity I've received at JR Motorsports to get here.

"They've believed in me for years. We've grinded away at the short tracks and never let up and always trying to get better. I've learned more about myself the past two years than I ever had. I am so thankful to be here. To win at Charlotte is really special."