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Josh Berry lands full-time 2022 Xfinity ride with JR Motorsports

Short track racer Josh Berry hung on to win the rain-delayed Cook Out 250 at Martinsville, scoring his first career Xfinity Series victory.

JR Motorsports announced Monday that Josh Berry will drive its No. 8 Chevrolet full-time beginning next season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Berry has made 13 of his 16 Xfinity starts this season with JRM. He drove the No. 8 car to his first career Xfinity win in April at Martinsville Speedway.

The 30-year-old from Hendersonville, Tennessee has competed with JRM’s late model program for over a decade.

JRM is looking at possibly expanding to a five-car Xfinity program next season with Berry’s addition. The team currently runs four cars for Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, Michael Annett and Sam Mayer.

“This moment is something we’ve been working toward for a long time,” JRM team co-owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. said in a release.

“Josh took full advantage of the opportunity he had this year in the No. 8 car. He went out, raced hard, and earned every bit of this. With all he’s accomplished on a limited schedule, I can’t wait to see what he can do in this series full time.”

In the same release, Berry said it was “difficult to put into words what this means.”

“I’m just a local short track racer, so saying this is a dream come true seems like an understatement,” he continued. “I’m so grateful to Dale, Kelley, L.W. [Miller] and everyone at JR Motorsports. They have always believed in me.

“This is the opportunity of a lifetime, and I’m ready and focused on 2022.”

The organization says additional details regarding sponsors for Berry and the No. 8 team will be announced in the coming weeks.

Along with his 12-race run in the No. 8 car, Berry also drove JRM’s No. 1 car last month at New Hampshire in place of the injured Michael Annett. Additionally, he’s made three starts for Jordan Anderson Racing this season. He has earned four top-five and nine top-10 finishes.

Coming off a 2020 NASCAR Weekly Series national championship, Berry entered his part-time Xfinity run this season with JRM with an aim to finally establish himself on a national level. He had only been able to make seven Xfinity starts from 2014-17, primarily due to a lack of funding.

After his breakthrough win at Martinsville, Berry revealed his prior fears that his efforts wouldn’t be enough.

“To be honest, I was scared I wouldn’t win,” he said. “I was. We won almost 30 races (last season), winning anywhere and everywhere in a late model. And then you come into this.

“I’m 30 years old. I should be ready to win. The only chance I’ve got is if I win. I was worried about that and wanted to win bad and prove myself.”

With Monday’s announcement, it’s safe to say he’s done just that.