Josh Berry drove his All Things Automotive Chevrolet to a fourth-place finish Saturday night at Myrtle Beach Speedway in the second CARS Response Energy Late Model Stock Car Series event of the season. Teammate Sam Mayer was 15th in his Menard’s/JR Motorsports Chevrolet.
Berry qualified 16th for the Late Model Stock Car part of the BakerDist.com 200 on the big half-mile oval—at which he won the Myrtle Beach 400 last year. During qualifying, a car pulled out right in front of him, and that cost him in the end. As Myrtle Beach is notoriously hard on tires, it wasn’t a huge problem, but did interfere with Berry’s race strategy.
That strategy consisted of saving as much of his tires as he could, and he rode in 20th spot until a competition caution 40 laps in. From there, he set off toward the front of the field and made it as high as fourth with 15 laps remaining before finishing there at the checkered flag.
Mayer qualified 22nd and employed the same tire-saving strategy as Berry. He climbed to 17th by the halfway point and started pushing to gain spots, but by then the tires on his Menards-backed JRM Chevrolet were somewhat the worse for wear. The final 50 laps were an exercise in perseverance for the 14-year-old Badger State driver, and he crossed the line 15th.
Lee Pulliam won the race over Ronald Hill, Justin Johnson, Berry and Bobby McCarty.
The JR Motorsports teams will next see action on April 7, when the CARS Response Energy Tour heads to Wake County Speedway near Raleigh.
Josh Berry, driver No. 88 All Things Automotive Chevrolet team
“We had a really good car in practice, but for some reason when we put on our race tires, we lost speed somewhere. The race got pretty strung out, and I felt like they were setting a pretty fast pace. We dropped back to around 20th saving the tires, but I’m not sure if we could’ve gave up a bit more track position in the beginning. Either way, I still feel like we were missing some speed from where we were in practice and that ended up being the difference. We were still able to work our way up to fourth which was solid. We will work hard and be ready for the next one. Thank you All Things Automotive and all our guys for the hard work this weekend.”
Sam Mayer, driver No. 9 Menards/JR Motorsports Chevrolet team
“The car kept getting better and better all weekend, and we had a really good piece for the race. We qualified worse than we wanted, but we came back to get a top-15 finish. Thanks to the entire JRM team for a good car all weekend!”