- Josh Berry, who once again filled in for the injured Chase Elliott, finished eighth in his qualifying heat race on Saturday evening which resulted in a 31st-place starting spot for Sunday’s 250-lap dirt race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
- The driver of the No. 9 Hooters Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, driving in his first NASCAR Cup Series race on dirt, gained 11 positions before spinning out on the final lap of stage one.
- After restarting 34th , Berry maneuvered up to 22nd before stage two ended at lap 150.
- Utilizing pit strategy, the full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series driver ran as high as fifth in the final stage before a late-race, multi-car incident resulted in a 27th-place finish for Berry.
Josh Berry, who once again filled in for Chase Elliott while he recovers from a broken tibia, started Sunday’s race on the dirt track at Bristol Motor Speedway from the 31st spot after finishing eighth in his qualifying heat race Saturday evening. He steadily moved up the scoring pylon in his first NASCAR Cup Series race on dirt and was scored 25th by lap 22. Berry gained five more positions before spinning out on the slick surface on the final lap of the 75-lap stage one.
After stopping for new tires and fuel, the full-time JR Motorsports NASCAR Xfinity Series driver started stage two from 34th. He began to get the feel for racing on dirt and was up to 25th by lap 134 of the 250-lap race. When stage two ended at lap 150, Berry was scored 22nd.
Interim crew chief Tom Gray elected not to pit during the stage break, and that moved Berry inside the top 10 for the start of the final stage. Great moves on the restart allowed Berry to crack the top five on lap 151 – a position he held until a caution waved at lap 174. On older tires, the driver of the No. 9 Hooters Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 held his own but began losing spots. By lap 211, he was scored eighth and, when a caution waved on lap 236, he was just outside the top 10 in 11th . On the final restart, Berry battled hard for a top-10 result before losing several positions while avoiding a spinning car. Unfortunately, he was collected in a multi-car incident on the last lap and finished 27th.
“I wish we had gotten the result we deserved,” Berry said. “I learned so much throughout the race and ran better as the race progressed. It certainly was a lot of fun.”
Start / Finish: 31 / 27
Next Race: Sunday, April 16, Martinsville Speedway, Martinsville, Va.
How to Watch or Listen: FS1, MRN and SiriusXM
Founded by Rick Hendrick in 1984, Hendrick Motorsports is the winningest team in NASCAR Cup Series history. At the sport’s premier level, the organization holds the all-time records in every major statistical category, including championships (14), points-paying race victories (291) and laps led (over 77,000). Headquartered in Concord, North Carolina, the team fields four full-time entries in the NASCAR Cup Series, including the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 driven by 2020 champion Chase Elliott.