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Josh Berry earns redemption at Myrtle Beach 400

Berry won over Timothy Peters in an exciting Myrtle Beach 400 that came down to the last laps.

Cassie Fambro | STS

Saturday morning, Dale Earnhardt Jr. sent out a humble request on Twitter: that one of his drivers would bring back a trophy to Mooresville, North Carolina, where Jr. Motorsports is headquartered. Little did he know, they’d earn two.

It was just about 5 p.m. when Jr. Motorsports driver William Byron clinched the NASCAR Xfinity Championship in his first season in the series. Less than five hours later, Jr. Motorsports had another reason to celebrate with Josh Berry winning the Myrtle Beach 400. Berry was the pole-winner but had fierce competition throughout the race which was filled with side-by-side racing and an ever-changing leaderboard.

Berry qualified over Timothy Peters who would finish the race in second place. Peters was able to run the bottom of the track for the first half of the race, but at the 10-minute break at lap 125, he told Short Track Scene they made a mistake. “At halfway, we made an adjustment to tighten up and we probably should have left it alone,” he said. “All in all it was a really good night, just couldn’t wrap the bottom like we wanted to.”

Most of the night, the lead changes switched between Jake Crum and David Roberts before Peters led at lap 107 pre-adjustment. Peters, Berry, Lee Pulliam, Ty Gibbs raced side-by-side, interchanging positions through lap 170.

Of note, shortly after the halfway break, Stefan Parsons ended up in the wall and several pieces of his car flew off, halting the race while it was cleaned up. After the race, Parsons said he was injured and has multiple dislocated toes.

The race was 75 percent completed when Berry’s teammate, Anthony Alfredo, lost a motor in turn two, coasting to a stop on the straightaway with smoke billowing from his hood. The caution caused by the blown motor caused a wild restart, with Pulliam tired of sitting behind the leaders. Pulliam and Crum went toe-to-toe, making contact. Confusion ensued as both vehicles were stopped by officials and the entire field of cars was allowed to pass them. After two under-caution laps, they were allowed back into the 24/25th positions. That wouldn’t last long.

On the ensuing restart, the two made contact again, with Pulliam hitting the wall at the start-finish line. Crum suffered damage and headed straight to pit road, where Pulliam exited his car and walked toward amidst cheers from the crowd. Pulliam and Crum discussed the incident but were not available for comment following the race.

With Pulliam and Crum out of contention and just 23 laps to go, fans stood on their feet at Myrtle Beach Speedway awaiting the finish. There would be one more caution involving David Roberts spinning out and then a subsequent wreck on the same lap taking out Brandon Pierce and Cole Glasson that resulted in a halted field while cleanup took place.

With 23 to go, Chad McCumbee led with Peters and Berry on his tail. Berry burst into action, driving deeply in the bottom of the racetrack to overtake Peters with 15 to go while McCumbee fell back. Berry gained ground on Peters as he was able to keep his car a good deal lower than Peters to win the race.

“It seemed like one of the restarts before, I could really see him getting free up off, and his car wasn’t as good as it was the first half,” said Berry. “I could tell that he wasn’t as good and I felt we were better, and I capitalized,” he added.

The win on Dale Jr’s last weekend and just hours after Byron’s win was just a little sweeter.

“It was a great week for the company,” said Berry. “It’s a big weekend for Dale and we just made it a little better for him,” he said.

And it was redemption, too.

In 2016, Christian Eckes won the Myrtle Beach 400 over Berry in a nail-biting photo-finish.

“Tonight was about redemption for myself and all these guys,” said Berry.

Berry won a check, a chainsaw and a fishing trip, telling track announcer Mike Neff that he doesn’t know how to fish or use a chainsaw but he’s happy to learn.

  1. Josh Berry
  2. Timothy Peters
  3. Chad McCumbee
  4. Brenden Queen
  5. Sam Mayer
  6. Tommy Lemons, Jr.
  7. Myatt Snider
  8. Justin Milliken
  9. Shane Lee
  10. Ty Gibbs
  11. Ryan Millington
  12. Greg Edwards
  13. Trey Gibson
  14. Justin Crider
  15. Peyton Sellers
  16. Justin Johnson
  17. David Roberts
  18. Kevin Leicht
  19. Justin Hicks
  20. Brian Vause
  21. R.A. Brown
  22. Michael Faulk
  23. Neil Meredith
  24. Stuart Ricks
  25. Colby Howard
  26. Dexter Canipe, Jr.
  27. Lucas Williams
  28. Blaise Brinkley
  29. Charles Powell, III
  30. Matt Cox
  31. Thad Moffitt
  32. Blair Addis
  33. Cole Glasson
  34. Brandon Pierce
  35. Jake Crum
  36. Lee Pulliam
  37. Bryant Barnhill
  38. Stefan Parsons
  39. Anthony Alfredo
  40. Layne Riggs
  41. Chris Throckmorton
  42. Tyler Hughes
  43. Jeremy McDowell

Fambro is a news reporter in Alabama and assists in coverage with Short Track Scene whenever possible.

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