Josh Berry Pays Rich Tribute to Dale Earnhardt Jr for Changing His Life in NASCAR

Published 10/09/2021, 12:52 PM EDT
MARTINSVILLE, VIRGINIA – APRIL 11: Josh Berry, driver of the #8 Chevrolet Accessories Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Cook Out 250 at Martinsville Speedway on April 11, 2021 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)


Josh Berry has been in good form in the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series season. In fact, he has Dale Earnhardt Jr to thank for his fortunes. Up until this point, he had merely been going along in his racing career.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

When Michael Annett got injured, he was drafted in to replace him. The JR Motorsports gig also turned out to be a match made in heaven, as he stormed to two wins in his Xfinity Series season.

As it turns out, this wasn’t the first time the Earnheardt names brought him good times.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Speaking about how Dale Jr helped kick start his racing career, Berry said, “He’s the main reason I’m able to do this at all. He gave me an opportunity 10 years ago to move to North Carolina, and it completely changed my life. I’m very thankful for this journey.

“When Dale was racing in the Cup Series, he was incredibly busy. I don’t think he could pay attention as much as he wanted to.

“When he retired, that allowed him to take a step back, enjoy and appreciate what we were doing with the late model program. He got to see me race more.”

What next for Josh Berry?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Now, his 2021 performances have earned him a full-time drive with JR Motorsports in 2022. With Tire Pro and Harrison’s Workwear backing him, Berry will be driving the #8 car. He never imagined that he would get so far in his NASCAR career, and was imagining a life in the short-track arena.

MARTINSVILLE, VIRGINIA – APRIL 11: Josh Berry, driver of the #8 Chevrolet Accessories Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Cook Out 250 at Martinsville Speedway on April 11, 2021 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

However, Dale Earnhardt Jr never gave up on him and tirelessly worked to find him a sponsor. Between 2014 and 2017, Josh Berry had some sporadic stints blanketing seven Xfinity Series starts. It is worth mentioning that during those occasions, he showed plenty of promise behind the wheel of the Xfinity Series cars.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

In 2021, the 30-year-old has enjoyed Victory Lane visits at Martinsville and atlas Vegas for the team. All of this has come during a handful of part-time appearances. Aside from the wins, he has posted four Top 5 finishes, including two 2nd place finishes at Darlington and Dover.

DIVE DEEPER

JR Motorsports Recruits Josh Berry for 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series Season

about 2 months ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Dhruv George

12103 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT