Dale Earnhardt Jr. taps Josh Berry for second Nationwide race
JR Motorsports Late Model driver Josh Berry, who made his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut last month, will get his second shot behind the wheel of the No. 5 JRM Chevrolet in the Nationwide Series 2014 finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 15.
JR Motorsports general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller, sister of team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr., made the announcement on Wednesday.
Ragu, a partner of JR Motorsports since 2011, will be the primary sponsor on Berry’s car at Homestead.
Berry, an avid online racer from Hendersonville, Tenn., met Earnhardt Jr. through an online racing league in 2007. The two competed regularly on iRacing.com before striking up a friendship that led Earnhardt Jr. to offer Berry a ride with JR Motorsports’ Late Model program in April 2010.
"I’m very thankful that Ragu came on board and that everybody at JRM has worked so hard to make this happen," Berry said. "Just like when I first started driving the Late Model, it started with one race. If one race went good, it went to two. Now we’re at two (in the Nationwide Series). If this goes well, hopefully we can do more. That’s definitely what I want to do."
Last weekend, Berry won his second Late Model track championship and first at Hickory Motor Speedway in North Carolina. Berry earned the team’s first track championship at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va., in 2012.
The 23-year-old made his Nationwide Series debut on Aug. 2 at Iowa Speedway in JR Motorsports’ No. 5 Chevrolet, finishing 12th after starting 10th.
"My approach to Homestead will be the same as it was at Iowa," Berry said. "These guys gave me a lot of video of in-car footage, and I’m going to watch that. I’m going to study as much as I can, talk to as many people as I can — Dale (Earnhardt Jr.), Kevin (Harvick), Regan (Smith) and Chase (Elliott). I’ll probably annoy everybody, but I’m going to do all I can to prepare myself."
The No. 5 JRM team has competed on a part-time basis this season with drivers Earnhardt Jr., Harvick, Kasey Kahne and Austin Theriault. Led by Harvick’s four wins, the team boasts five victories in 21 starts.