According to a fresh report from Jordan Bianchi of The Athletic, Stewart-Haas Racing is nearing the finish line on a contract for Josh Berry to pilot one of the team’s NASCAR Cup Series entries in 2024.
While the report states that the contract negotiations are nearly complete, Bianchi does state that his sources reiterate that a contract has not been signed just yet.
While Berry driving for Stewart-Haas Racing in 2024 is not a new thought, as it has been rumored for months, this is the first time anyone has been able to get sources on the record stating that a deal is in the works.
Back in early May, Sports Business Journal reported that Berry was finalizing a management deal with KHI Management, Kevin Harvick’s sports and marketing agency.
When this news hit, the Berry to SHR rumors, which were ever-present, went into overdrive.
For Stewart-Haas Racing, landing a talented and recognizable name in the wake of Kevin Harvick retiring at the season’s end is a top priority. Since driving the majority of the NASCAR Xfinity Series season in 2021, Berry has racked up five victories in that series driving for JR Motorsports.
Berry, in his first full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series season, last year, won three races and was one of the four Championship 4 contenders.
This season, Berry has had the chance to compete in eight NASCAR Cup Series events, due to separate injuries sustained by Hendrick Motorsports drivers Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman.
In those eight races, Berry has opened some eyes.
While he has recorded four finishes of 25th-or-worse, Berry has shown incredible upside as he finished second at Richmond Raceway, and he scored 10th-place runs at Phoenix Raceway and again at Dover Motor Speedway.
Despite being 32 years old, Berry is still relatively new on the NASCAR National Series scene, as he cut his racing teeth at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway in the Legends car division.
Berry was discovered by Dale Earnhardt Jr. in an online sim-racing league — DMP Online Racing. By 2010, Berry further cemented his racing pedigree at the local level, and in 2015 he moved to the CARS Tour Late Model Stock Division.
In the Late Model Stock, Berry flashed incredible skill. He amassed 22 victories in the CARS Tour and won the 2017 Late Model Stock Championship. The Tennessee native is a very interesting driving prospect and has apparently impressed Stewart-Haas Racing, which as a whole has underwhelmed over the last couple of seasons in the NASCAR Cup Series.