Who is Josh Berry, the Man Replacing Justin Haley to Make his NASCAR Cup Debut at Dover

Published 05/15/2021, 4:07 PM EDT
JOLIET, IL – SEPTEMBER 16: Josh Berry, driver of the #71 American Club/RaceTrac Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series American Ethanol E15 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 16, 2016 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)


Earlier this week, the COVID-19 pandemic reared its head once again. As it turned out, Justin Haley tested positive, and it ruled him out of the race at Dover.

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Now, the Spire Motorsports team has roped in Josh Berry in his stead, handing him his NASCAR Cup Series debut. Admittedly, Berry had a bit of a heavy schedule ahead of him as he is competing in the Xfinity and ARCA Menards Series.

Now, this Cup Series gig has dropped into his lap. This opportunity came at just the right time, as Berry was desperate to stay in the NASCAR national series competition.

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“It’s all happened rather quickly,” Berry said. “To make my first Cup start…I hate the circumstances with Justin, but I’m incredibly grateful that they (Spire) thought of me. I’m excited to go and do a good job for them.”

How does the 2021 season pan out for Josh Berry?

It is worth mentioning that Josh Berry has 4 races left on his 12-race Xfinity schedule. In his previous races, Berry clinched a first career Xfinity win at Martinsville.

To make matters even sweeter, he finished as the runner-up last weekend at Darlington. Despite this, he confessed that he has not seen any deals for the second half of this season materialize.

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)

“I’m available to talk to really anybody and do whatever,” he said. “I’ve had one conversation, maybe. But this is Sam’s ride the second half of the season.

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“I knew that going into this. Dale (Earnhardt Jr.) was very adamant in giving me this opportunity and just hoping something special could happen.”

Despite the limited opportunities, Josh Berry is not at all ungrateful. Instead, he is quite thankful for everything. He declared that whatever happens in his last 4 races, he will always be thankful.

Whether the JR Motorsports team takes him in or he goes back to the late model scene, he will consider himself fortunate.

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DIVE DEEPER

COVID-19 Scares Back in the NASCAR Grid, Justin Haley Out of Dover Race

about 1 month ago

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Dhruv George

11629 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.

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