Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Josh Berry Scores $50,000 Payday in Thanksgiving Classic Win at Southern National Motorsports Park

Josh Berry Thanksgiving Classic Southern National Motorsports Park 2022
Josh Berry took the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Throwback Late Model to victory lane in the Thanksgiving Classic at Southern National. In this photo, the car is being driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Florence Motor Speedway. Photo Credit: Daniel Vining / PixelatedSPEED

Josh Berry took home the $50,000 prize and massive trophy for winning Sunday’s Solid Rock Carriers Thanksgiving Classic at Southern National Motorsports Park in Lucama, North Carolina.

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Berry scored the win over Jared Fryar, who he passed for the lead with under 50 laps to go in a race that featured a lot of varying strategies, as some drivers opted to run for broke, while many others, like Berry, utilized a tire conservation strategy.

According to Berry, the strategy call was something he and his team talked about and perfected heading into the race.

“We really talked a lot today about what our plan was, what we thought was going to happen, and what thought we needed to do. I thought it was really fun. I really enjoyed the controlled caution thing, just the strategy part of it. I think kind of like what you see at the big super late model races.”

In the end, Berry’s strategy played out beautifully.

However, Berry’s second-consecutive Thanksgiving Classic victory at Southern National Motorsports Park wasn’t expected. Last year’s win was supposed to be his last attempt in this race. Then, it wasn’t.

“Yeah, definitely,” Berry stated when asked if this year’s win in the Classic was cooler than last year’s. “We ran this race last year kind of like a send off for me. I hadn’t really run this race a whole lot. It’s tough on all of your people with Thanksgiving and all. It’s a big commitment. When Mike and Solid Rock Carriers stepped up with that big of a purse, we knew we had to be here.”

With the victory, which came in the throwback gold No. 3 Bass Pro Shops paint scheme that Dale Earnhardt Jr. piloted last weekend in the South Carolina 400 at Florence, Berry has now amassed 100 victories in his career with JR Motorsports through all disciplines of racing.

The 32-year-old Berry, who made it into the Championship 4 of the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs in 2022, kicked off his new sponsorship partnership with Bass Pro Shops with a victory.

On November, 1st Bass Pro Shops and JR Motorsports announced that Berry would carry the iconic brand on his No. 8 Chevrolet Camaro in 11 races next year in the Xfinity Series.

While it was elation for Berry, Fryar came up just shy in the runner-up spot and he says it was all about handling in the closing laps.

“Just needed to handle a little better,” Fryar said. “When we put tires on, we got a little tight in the corner and I just couldn’t get into the corner — could get off the corner just couldn’t get into the corner as hard as I needed to to be as good or as deep into [Turn] 3. All-in-all good night. Strategy kind of played out there a little better than I expected.”

Behind Berry and Fryar were Kaden Honeycutt, Deac McCaskill, and RFK Racing crew chief Matt McCall would round out the top-five finishers

While a fifth-place finish would leave most drivers somewhat satisfied in a packed field like Sunday’s, Matt McCall was there for one reason — to win.

“It sucked. We finished fifth,” McCall joked to Matt Weaver of Racing America. “I just didn’t do a good job on restarts. I just didn’t put myself in a spot to be able to outrun Josh. I don’t know if we could have kept up anyway, obviously, his car is really fast.”

Berry’s JR Motorsports teammate Carson Kvapil finished the race in sixth, while Carter Langley, Conner Jones, Justin Johnson, and Chase Burrow capped off the top-10 finishers.

NASCAR Xfinity Series competitor Jeb Burton came home in 11th.

Connor Hall, who had high hopes as he started from the pole in the event, saw his bid for the victory come to an end after a questionable spin that looked like it was on purpose, followed by an alternator that went bad on his race car.

The race had a strange moment as a crash involving Jonathan Findley and Daniel Vulcannon led to a physical brawl between the two drivers on the track, which caused the race to burn more laps under caution, 10 laps total, in the late stages of the event.

However, the two were finally separated and the race was able to finish under green.

Here are the complete race results for the 2022 Thanksgiving Classic at Southern National Motorsports Park:

PosStNo.DriverLapsDiffBest Lap
123Josh Berry250--16.219
2714Jared Fryar2501.38416.193
310Kaden Honeycutt2501.59216.404
4608Deac McCaskill2505.13316.323
5451Matt McCall2506.00716.380
6168Carson Kvapil2507.34516.467
75Carter Langley2508.38716.486
81444JConner Jones25012.91016.608
981Justin Johnson25013.44016.322
108BChase Burrow25013.92316.511
11527Jeb Burton25014.35416.574
1205Mason Bailey25017.14316.651
139Charlie Watson249-1 Lap16.291
1417Stacy Puryear249-1 Lap16.255
1500Jody Measamer249-1 Lap16.749
16303Brenden Queen249-1 Lap16.529
1795Connor Mosack249-1 Lap16.589
1899Austin Somero249-1 Lap16.803
19107Tristan Mckee249-1 Lap16.603
2031Clay Jones249-1 Lap16.741
211372Dean Shiflett249-1 Lap16.603
221244Dylan Newsome248-2 Laps16.627
231588Doug Barnes245-5 Laps16.464
241115Logan Clark239-11 Laps16.515
25177Connor Hall217-33 Laps16.047
2650Daniel Vuncannon184-66 Laps16.830
2794Jonathan Findley184-66 Laps16.498
2816Kade Brown159-91 Laps16.794
2981Andrew Grady60-190 Laps16.415
30172Ryan Wilson32-218 Laps16.604
3177HMichael Hardin9-241 Laps17.721
Toby Christie
Toby Christiehttps://tobychristie.com
Toby is the Founder, and Editor-in-Chief of TobyChristie.com. Toby is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, he is an award-winning writer, and has followed the sport as a fan since 1993.

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