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Josh Berry and Rodney Childers Hope to Continue Working Together After 2024

Josh Berry Rodney Childers together again in 2025? That's the hope

Photo Credit: Nigel Kinrade, NKP for Ford Performance

As NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year contender Josh Berry faces an uncertain future with his Stewart-Haas Racing team set to close up shop at the end of the 2024 season, the current driver of the No. 4 Ford Mustang is already starting to lay the foundation of his plan for what’s next. While he doesn’t have a team lined up to race for in 2025 just yet, in a media availability on Tuesday, Berry explained that the goal is for him to remain paired with crew chief Rodney Childers if at all possible.

“That’s 100% our goal,” Berry explained. “But I think for my side of things, and Rodney’s side of things, too, if that’s going to be possible is yet to be seen. If that’s going to be realistic or not, but I think wemost definitely want to continue that path. We feel like we’ve really had a strong last month, month and a half maybe. I think we’ve gotten a lot better and we’re learning each other, and continuing to grow. And I think we’ve had some really solid runs. So, I think, for us, we want to be able to continue on that trajectory and keep working with each other. If that’s going to be possible or not has yet to be seen, but that’s certainly the goal.”

While there have been some transitional growing pains for Berry, who moved from the NASCAR Xfinity Series to the NASCAR Cup Series full-time in 2024, the duo of Berry and Childers has really started to churn out solid results.

As we are nearing the mid-way point in the season, Berry holds a five-point advantage over Carson Hocevar in the Rookie of the Year standings.

RELATED: 2024 NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year Standings

Prior to a 36th-place finish this past weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway due to a blown tire on Lap 112, Berry had recorded five-consecutive finishes of 16th-or-better, including a third-place effort at Darlington and a 10th-place finish in the Coca-Cola 600.

Over the five race span, Berry averaged a finish of 11.6, and he climbed from 28th in the NASCAR Cup Series championship standings to 19th.

Rolling off of the hauler in February at Daytona, there was already the massive pressure of being a rookie in the NASCAR Cup Series for Berry. But almost from the first green flag of the season, Berry and his Stewart-Haas Racing teammates had been hearing all of the rumors swirling about their team. Until last week, when the news was finally made official that SHR would be no more next season, Berry had been trying to acclimate himself to the Cup Series while also worrying about what could happen with his race team.

“Pretty early on in the season, obviously, we start hearing, reading, and seeing everything to know that something was going on,” Berry explained. “We’re not exactly sure what, but we definitely kind of had that inclination that something was going on. So, we’ve been working through that really since the start of the year.”

Despite all of the noise, Berry has delivered on the track, and he’s truly elated by what he’s achieved as a rookie contender so far, but he knows as SHR employees start to hit the job market as the season rolls on, it’s only going to get tougher and tougher to produce. But if he and Childers can keep finding good results, it’ll bode well for their respective futures.

“I think we still have a lot to prove. I think we have a really strong team,” Berry stated. “It’s going to continue to be harder and harder to get everything going as people begin searching around and trying to find jobs, but we have a great leader in Rodney, and I think being a rookie in this series is really hard. And I think I’ve answered the call on that. I’m proud of the job that I’ve done. I’m proud of the job that I did at HMS, and I feel like that I’m deserving of being here. And I think that if we keep doing that, we’ll find another opportunity.”

For Berry, the climb to the NASCAR Cup Series hasn’t been an easy one. These days, you don’t typically see 33-year-old rookies in the Cup Series. But after scratching and clawing his way to prominence at the local level, and proving himself at JR Motorsports, when he finally got his big break in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Berry has earned this position.

And despite Stewart-Haas Racing closing at season’s end, Berry says he wouldn’t change anything about the current journey that he’s on.

“Yeah, you know it’s definitely been an up and down time. Dealing with all of that, going from what we had a year ago kind ironing out the deal with the 4 team, and now with Stewart-Haas going away, yeah, it’s just been an up and down year for sure. I think, without a doubt I would do it all over again, even if I knew the outcome,” Berry emphasized. “The opporrunity to race for Stewart-Haas, and the job they’ve done and meet the people that I’ve had and to work with Rodney and this No. 4 team. I would 100% do that all over again. I hate that part of it is coming to a close, but from their side of things, the time was right to make a change and go a different direction. I think all of us respect that, and we’re going to work through it and try to find the next opportunity.”

As Berry looks to find that next opportunity, the next stop on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is Sonoma Raceway, which makes up race No. 16 of 36. Berry has one start at the 1.99-mile road course in California, which came in the NASCAR Xfinity Series a season ago. That race resulted in a 33rd-place finish for the Tennessee native.

While road racing isn’t his specialty, Berry will look to put in a good effort this weekend, and if all shakes out his way, he’ll continue to see his stock soar as we navgiate the choppy waters of NASCAR’s Silly Season.

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