Motorsport News

Is Josh Berry the Next Short-Track Ace?

Nascar Cup Series

1. Is Josh Berry Primed for a Short Track Win?

If you were around the Atlanta sports scene in the 1990s, you know all about Deion Sanders and his Prime Time persona.

No, this is not a space to advocate for Coach Prime to own a race team. That said, this week may as well be in the midst of Prime Time for Josh Berry and Stewart-Hass Racing.

It’s well-known that Berry and his crew chief Rodney Childers love short track racing. It’s where both came up as racers and it’s special to them. But feeling passionate is easy. It’s the actual doing of something that’s hard.

Berry is proving he can do the hard things on short tracks. The second short-track race of the season on Sunday (March 31) night gave a similar result – with Berry near the front. Despite starting 30th, Berry made it to the top 10 in the first stage and to second in the next stage a combo of things falling the wrong way and contact with Daniel Suarez put the No. 4 in 12th by the race’s end.

Berry, who also qualified second earlier this year at Bristol Motor Speedway, silenced doubters this past weekend that Bristol was no fluke. For as many shortcomings as SHR has had in the past year, last year’s race at Martinsville Speedway saw Ryan Preece and Chase Briscoe combine to lead 244 laps.

Stewart-Haas already had reason to circle Martinsville when the season began. If Berry and Childers are hitting on something when it comes to short tracks, then SHR could be primed to spoil what will be a celebration of Hendrick Motorsports this weekend at Martinsville.

2. What’s Next for Bubba Pollard?

Wander around any short-track racing series, and you will hear stories of ‘we knew them then.’

That’s especially true when it comes to Legends cars, a form of racing that has spawned those such as Chris Buescher and Joey Logano. But for every Buescher or Logano, there are those drivers with their advocates who firmly believe that if they had gotten the right chance at the right time, perhaps they’d be successfully racing at NASCAR’s top level.

That’s why the story of Bubba Pollard was such a feel-good one.

Similar to Berry, JR Motorsports found a a way to give a short-track driver who had ground their way to the top of those series a chance in a national division within NASCAR, and in very good equipment. Sure, a driver could run an average of 25th to say they raced in a NASCAR event. Or they can race at a place that is like home to…

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