Berry-Flavored Monster: Josh Berry Gets It Done at Dover

At the drop of the green flag, Justin Allgaier had more wins, top-5s, top-10s, and laps led at Dover Motor Speedway than the rest of the field combined. He took the lead in the middle of stage 2, and as the A-Game 200 entered its closing stages, he looked like he was running away with it. 

But his teammate Josh Berry closed in through lapped traffic, and passed the No. 7 not once, but twice, putting his Tire Pros Chevy into the lead he would hold for the final 54 circuits. The Tennessee native scored his first Xfinity Series victory of 2022, and the third of his career. 

Allgaier recovered from a slow pit stop under the final caution to come home second, his fifth runner-up finish since his last Xfinity Series win at Darlington last year. Ty Gibbs came home third, followed by Noah Gragson, who scored the final Dash 4 Cash bonus of the year. Sam Mayer, who won the first stage before suffering two pit road penalties, recovered to fifth. 

Brandon Jones started the race from pole position, rocketing off to an early lead from his spot on the outside. The outside lane was all but unbeatable on restarts throughout the day, something that any Cup drivers watching will take to heart for tomorrow. 

Jones lost the lead to Sam Mayer midway through the first stage, when the JRM driver laid the chrome horn to him on the exit of turn 2, and faded back to finish seventh.

“The G-Men,” Gibbs and Gragson did some bumping and banging on lap 38 and 39, although fans will have to wait at least another week to see the Xfinity Series’ two most aggressive young stars face off with a victory on the line. 

Stage one winner Mayer had a wheel come off under caution, a violation which should see his crew chief Taylor Moyer take what Adam Alexander kindly calls a “four-week vacation,” and could even affect Hendrick Motorsports’ Cup Series crew lineup, as HMS lends crew members to JRM’s Xfinity series efforts.

Rajah Caruth, the ARCA Menards Series points leader, qualified 15th for what was just his second Xfinity Series start, but had to start from the rear of the field. After two impressive saves when his No. 44 Alpha Prime Racing Camaro got loose in traffic, a suspension failure put him behind the wall before the end of the second stage. 

Brandon Jones once again failed to hold off a strong JRM Chevy for the stage win, as Allgaier was able to get past the Joe Gibbs Racing driver and score the win in stage two.

After two aggressive dive-bombs on restarts failed to capture him the lead, Josh Berry was able to close in on his race-leading teammate in traffic, and come out on top in a three-lap duel. When a caution for Bayley Currey eliminated the chance of a green-flag short-pit, and Allgaier’s slow stop put him behind some fast cars on the restart, the track was clear for Berry to run away with the race, bettering his Dover result from last year by one position, the only position that matters.

Featured image from Josh Berry on Twitter

Published by Jack Swansey

Originally from North Carolina, Jack has been a NASCAR fan since 2008, and his favorite driver is Bubba Wallace. At Wesleyan University, he studied film and anthropology and wrote his senior thesis about the fan culture of American stock car racing. When not watching NASCAR, Jack is probably looking for some other motorsport to watch, scouring antique stores for hard-to-find diecasts, or investigating the history of some obscure backmarker team or another. To fund his HotWheels collection, Jack works in television production.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: