Josh Berry scores first NASCAR Xfinity Series win at Martinsville
Josh Berry captured his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory Sunday at Martinsville Speedway.
After rain forced the postponement of Friday's NASCAR's Xfinity Series race, the event got back underway Sunday.
Berry led 95 of 250 laps on his way to capturing the checkered flag.
Brandon Jones led the way at the Lap 97 restart, and it didn't take long for contact on the half-mile short track. Ryan Vargas sustained significant nose damage after a brake failure on the restart.
Joshua Williams brought out a yellow in what NASCAR called an intentional spin, holding him for one lap. The caution caused a split in the strategy game with Daniel Hemric staying out and leading the way while several others came down pit road.
Hemric would take the Stage 2 victory ahead of Noah Gragson, Jeb Burton, Michael Annett, Jeremy Clements, Tommy Joe Martins, Stefan Parsons, J.J. Yeley, George Gorham Jr., and Berry.
The final stage went green with Berry quickly taking control.
The mood of the race abruptly changed during the final stage as the race headed towards its conclusion.
There was an incident involving Blaine Perkins and Joe Graf Jr., as well as a lone spin by Brandon Gdovic. Riley Herbst was forced to pit under green due to a left rear tire failure.
During one of the ensuing caution periods, most of the leaders pitted while several midfield teams decided to stay out.
Bayley Currey held the lead, but he was quickly dispatched by Berry.
The battle for the win was now on between the Late Model ace and sensational rookie Ty Gibbs, who took the lead with 57 laps to go.
A spin by Alex Labbe set up the final restart of the race with Berry retaking the lead from Gibbs with 28 laps remaining.
He never looked back, taking the checkered flag and his first career Xfinity Series victory in just his 13th start.
Gragson was second, Hemric third, Gibbs fourth and Jones fifth. Austin Cindric, Harrison Burton, Justin Haley, Justin Allgaier and Michael Annett rounded out the top-ten.
Gragson was also the winner of the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash money.
"I have so many people I can thank, I could be here until tomorrow morning," said Berry. "Just thank you Dale (Earnhardt Jr.) and Kelley (Earnhardt-Miller) and everyone for believing in me. Everyone on this No. 8 team. Man they've been through a lot these last couple years. I wanted to win bad for these guys."
Team owner Dale Jr. called Berry after the race to congratulate him, and later tweeted:
Remainder of Martinsville Xfinity race postponed until Sunday
NASCAR commentators: NBC and Fox commentary teams for 2021