Amid Crisis, Dale Earnhardt Jr’s Pupil Leads the Ship for Tony Stewart and Co With a Statement at Charlotte

Amid Crisis, Dale Earnhardt Jr’s Pupil Leads the Ship for Tony Stewart and Co With a Statement at Charlotte

Stewart-Haas Racing is arguably one of the prominent elite teams in NASCAR. Having hosted legendary drivers like Kevin Harvick and taking home several championships at the Cup Series, Tony Stewart’s team SHR was a force to reckon with. Unfortunately, the organization now rests in the middle of a tornado. A tornado that threatens to engulf the future of rising stars like Noah Gragson and Josh Berry.

Yes, we are talking about rumored charter sales! But despite this dark present, one driver has showcased himself as a beacon of hope. Thanks to #4 driver Josh Berry who filled in Kevin Harvick’s position, post his retirement.

Josh Berry shines bright at the Coca-Cola 600


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While SHR continued to suffer through its extended crisis, Josh Berry represented a bright spot in the rain-shortened Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Making his start in the #4 car since the exit of Kevin Harvick, he quickly reminded everyone of just how much talent and potential he possessed. The young driver, after a splendid P3 finish at the Goodyear 400 earlier this month, yet again scored a P10 finish this weekend. Not just that, in a pure show of racing prowess, he also maintained a Top-10 run throughout the race before rain cut it short, bringing in valuable stage points, proving his worth in one of the sport’s biggest stages.

On the contrary, his teammates Chase Briscoe, Noah Gragson and Ryan Preece finished P25, P26 and P38, respectively.

So, naturally Berry’s crew members were overjoyed. Following the event, joining in on social media was No. 4 crew chief Rodney Childers, taking to X with a post and photo to summarize the state of his current team. “Having SO much fun,” parts of his tweet read, which also included, “Gettin better every week. Josh Berry is driving his butt off and deserves to race on Sundays for a long time.” That excitement mirrors the renewed rejuvenation and hopes within SHR. Amidst the uncertainty of the future.

Well-known NASCAR insider, Toby Christie also lauded Berry. “Another great run for Josh Berry and the #4 team tonight,” Christie said. At the same time, he rubbished the rumors about the support of SHR and their employees. The tweet fiurther read, “The real shame of all of the recent rumors is how the Stewart Haas employees have banded together, and have really begun stringing together some incredible performances.” He was full of praise for Team #4, writing, “Tons of fight, tons of heart.” Those comments are emblematic of the remarkable reversal of fortunes this #4 team has experienced.

The real shame of all of the recent rumors is how the @StewartHaasRcng employees have banded together, and have really begun stringing together some incredible performances. Another great run for @JoshBerry and the No. 4 team tonight in the rain-shortened Coca-Cola 600. Tons of…

— Toby Christie (@Toby_Christie) May 27, 2024

Even Berry himself took to social media to celebrate the achievement, expressing gratitude and happiness. The former JR Motorsports late-model racer said, “First 600, top10 , stage points, 4 team is having a blast!” Evidently, Berry is putting everything he learned under Dale Earnhardt Jr at JRM to the test and thus propelling SHR forward in this Cup Series.

As the momentum keeps building up, the NASCAR community’s eyes have been pulled to Berry, who is being touted as a serious Rookie of the Year’ title contender.

Can Josh Berry take it all?


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Coming into stock car racing in a rather unconventional way, competing in NASCAR was but a dream for Josh Berry. While his life had already taken shape with him working as a bank teller to fund his racing career, a chance encounter with JR Motorsports owner Dale Earnhardt Jr virtually in an online racing game, turned instrumental in his racing journey. Soon enough, Junior signed Berry in 2010 to compete in late-model racing. And the rest, as they say, is history!

Moving up the ranks, the racer is finally competing at the top and is almost at the verge of getting that coveted ‘Rookie of the Year’ title!

via Imago

Coming into his debut full-time season in NASCAR’s top tourney, Josh Berry’s eyes will be on the prize. In the run against drivers like Carson Hocevar and Zane Smith, the 33-year-old driver will have to put his best foot forward.


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Currently though, Berry’s chances look far better than his two opponents. While Hocevar was dominating the standing among the three before the Darlington race weekend, Berry’s podium finished pushed him to the top. Now, after the conclusion of the Coca Cola 600, Berry sits with a comfortable 36-point difference between him and the #77 driver.

But the #4 driver is confident and his promising performances have only helped his race craft take shape, which has been plenty evident in the past few weeks. Talking about where he sees himself in the running for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year award, the driver said, “That definitely was a goal of ours, for sure, so we want to get as many points as we can and give ourselves the best opportunity to win that award.”

Also expressing belief in himself, Berry mentioned, “Like I said before, I think the potential’s there. We felt like what we had Sunday night [at Richmind] and what we had at Bristol, we feel like those nights are in front of us. We’ve just got to figure out how to get there, week in and week out, and it’s going to take some time to get there, but I feel like the potential’s there to keep getting better and running well. Just got to figure it out and go do it.”


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Having said that, Hocevar isn’t having too bad of a season either. With better performances than his teammates Zane Smith and Cup Series regular Corey LaJoie, who is yet to perform, Hocevar seems to be the most promising driver at Spire Motorsports. The 21-year-old got his last Top-10 at Texas. On the other hand, with no Top-10s or Top-15s (since the Daytona 500 where he finished P13) or Top-20s so far, Smith needs to buckle his shoes if he wants to get that ROTY title.

As things currently stand, it wouldn’t be too far fetched to predict Berry coming on top between the three. What do you think?

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