Josh Berry saved his stuff early in Sunday night’s Battle of the Stars Invitational at Goodyear All American Speedway and it paid dividends when the chips were on the table late in the race as Berry, 31, snagged the lead from Chad McCumbee as a big crash erupted on lap 107.
“Trying to save,” Berry said of his strategy to lay back and save his tires in a post-race interview with Racing America’s Matt Weaver. “With the stage breaks and the invert really wasn’t an advantage to run up front.”
Once Berry assumed the lead, it was lights out as he would not look back. Berry led the final 43 circuits of Sunday night’s late model event. It was Berry’s first start at Goodyear All American Speedway, which made the win all the more special.
“It’s really special. That was exciting for me to come somewhere new and the Goodyear family, here, they have put in a lot of effort to fix this place up and build it up. You can tell they are very passionate about what they’re doing.”
In the end, Berry, driving the No. 8 JR Motorsports late model won the event over Justin Johnson, who finished runner-up.
Johnson stopped by Berry’s car for congratulations after the win.
Justin Johnson congratulates Josh Berry on the Battle of the Stars win at Coastal Plains before the JR Motorsports ace climbs out and celebrates. pic.twitter.com/YyYRqRoTHs
— Matt Weaver (@MattWeaverRA) November 15, 2021
Connor Hall came home in third, while Carter Langley and Conner Jones rounded out the top-five finishers.
McCumbee, a former NASCAR competitor finished sixth after battling in an effort to hold off Berry for the lead with under 50 laps remaining.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competitor Tate Fogleman finished seventh, while Amber Slagle, who made her ARCA Menards Series West debut this season, came home in 12th in the 26-car field.
Berry, who won twice in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this season, will return to run the full 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series season for JR Motorsports. The Tennessee-native will run the No. 8 entry for JR Motorsports next season, and he will have sponsorship from Tire Pros for the effort.