Josh Berry needed to stand by almost two days for the Sunday conclusion of the Cook Out 250 at Martinsville Speedway, yet it was an worthwhile delay for the late model expert.
Driving for JR Motorsports car owners Dale Earnhardt Jr. also, Kelley Earnhardt Miller, Berry started to lead the pack from Ty Gibbs on Lap 223 of 250 and held it the rest of the way to win his first NASCAR Xfinity Series race in quite a while thirteenth beginning.
In a race that was ended by rain following 91 laps on Friday night and restarted around early afternoon on Sunday, Berry beat JR Motorsports teammate Noah Gragson to the end goal by .590 seconds. Both Gragson and Daniel Hemric passed Gibbs during the end race to complete second and third, separately.
Gragson had good reason to feel mixed emotions about finishing second to a driver he called “a legend in short-track racing.” The driver of the No. 9 JRM Chevrolet needed to play protection during the last race to keep Hemric behind him.
“I really wanted to win there,” Gragson said, “but I was having to protect the bottom to keep the guys behind me from moving me out of the way. I couldn’t open up my arc the way I needed to and make speed with that.”
The Dash 4 Cash extra was an welcome consolation.
“One hundred thousand dollars richer,” Gragson said, displaying the big check. “I’m pumped up. Great 1-2 finish for our team at JR Motorsports.”
Gibbs held the fourth spot, trailed by Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Brandon Jones, who had just taken the lead from Berry when storms stopped the action on Friday night.
Series leader and defending champ Austin Cindric ran 6th, with Harrison Burton, Justin Haley, Justin Allgaier and Michael Annett finishing the main 10. Each of the four JR Motorsports drivers completed in the main 10 (Berry, Gragson, Allgaier and Annett).
In spite of the fact that he’s not driving in the series full-time, Berry additionally brought in qualification for the Dash 4 Money reward in the April 24 Xfinity race at Talladega (4 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM), alongside Gragson, Hemric and Jones.
Notes: The No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driven by Jones was found to have one fastener undependable and secure in post-race examination. The No. 23 Our Motorsports Chevrolet driven by Blaine Perkins was surveyed a punishment for misfortune/division of inappropriately introduced back hub (Section 126.96.36.199.4e) as the vehicle lost a pivot during the race. Group boss Brian Graham has been suspended for the following Xfinity race — April 24 at Talladega.
Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Guardian Talks journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.