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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Berry to exchange Harvick at Stewart-Haas Racing in NASCAR for 2024

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SHR officers launched Berry at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Wednesday as the brand new driver of its No. 4 Ford starting in 2024, changing future NASCAR Corridor of Fame driver Harvick, who’s retiring at the conclusion of the 2023 season.

Berry won’t solely transfer right into a profitable squad however may even retain Harvick’s gifted crew chief, Rodney Childers, because the staff’s chief.

Harvick and Childers have mixed for 37 sequence wins since their pairing in 2014, together with a Cup Collection championship of their first season and a career-best 9 victories for Harvick in 2020.

Berry at present competes within the Xfinity Collection for JR Motorsports and has 5 wins since starting with a part-time schedule in 2021. He superior to the Championship 4 in his first full-time season in 2022.

The 32-year-old has already made 10 Cup sequence begins – together with being known as on this season to substitute for injured Hendrick Motorsports drivers Chase Elliott and most not too long ago Alex Bowman.

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He earned a career-best runner-up end in April at Richmond, whereas filling in for Elliott within the No. 9 Chevrolet.

“I can’t think about a greater alternative for me to get in a automotive that’s been as profitable and iconic because the No. 4,” Berry mentioned.

“Kevin is a future NASCAR Corridor of Famer, and it’s going to be a problem making an attempt to return after somebody so profitable.

“However I do know I’m going to have an incredible group of individuals round me, led by Rodney Childers, to the place we will hit the bottom working.”

SHR didn’t tackle sponsorship for the No. 4 automotive in 2024 however a staff spokesman mentioned “constructive conversations” have been ongoing with present SHR companions related to the No. 4 in addition to with potential new companions.

“Josh Berry has confirmed himself within the Xfinity Collection and this 12 months confirmed how rapidly he can adapt to the vehicles and the extent of competitors within the NASCAR Cup Collection,” mentioned Greg Zipadelli, SHR’s chief competitors officer.

“He’ll be a rookie in our race automotive subsequent 12 months, however he drives like a veteran. He places within the work to make sure that he’s at all times prepared for the alternatives that come his manner, and we’re very comfortable that his subsequent alternative is with Stewart-Haas Racing.”

A protracted street to the highest

Berry’s journey to NASCAR’s premier sequence has not been a simple one.

Whereas profitable six Legend Vehicles championships as a teen, Berry additionally competed in iRacing, and it was throughout on-line racing periods the place Berry caught the eye of Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Berry joined JRM’s Late Mannequin programme in 2010 and shortly delivered wins and championships, together with the 2017 CARS Late Mannequin Inventory Tour title and the 2020 NASCAR Weekly Racing Collection championship.

That success satisfied Earnhardt to provide Berry an opportunity within the Xfinity Collection and he took full benefit of that as effectively – profitable in his thirteenth sequence begin in April 2021 at Martinsville, the identical observe on which he secured certainly one of his premier Late Mannequin victories.

“I wouldn’t change something about how I obtained right here – it made me who I’m,” Berry mentioned. “All through my teenage years, it was a struggle simply to maintain racing, to get to the subsequent race.

“The timing of Dale and I getting collectively, that was essential. If that doesn’t occur, I don’t know that I might’ve ever raced a inventory automotive, or how rather more I might’ve raced in any respect, simply because racing overextended us financially.

“Whenever you race that manner, it’s onerous to set any sort of a long-term objective. However your objectives simply change as you develop.”

It’s Berry’s success and expertise in Late Fashions that Harvick believes has supplied him with a stable basis from which to launch a long-lasting Cup profession.

Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Busch Light Ford Mustang

Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Busch Gentle Ford Mustang

Photograph by: Rusty Jones / NKP / Motorsport Images

“Successful the CARS Late Mannequin Inventory Tour championship and the NASCAR Weekly Racing Collection championship requires a whole lot of ability and an equal quantity of willpower,” mentioned Harvick. “Josh did each and received a whole lot of races alongside the best way.

“That have allowed him to be quick and profitable proper off the bat when he obtained to the Xfinity Collection, and when he had his alternatives to race within the Cup Collection earlier this 12 months, he once more confirmed pace and a capability to race on the entrance.

“I’m very comfortable for Josh and proud to see him get this chance. He’s going to be a extremely good match with Rodney and the No. 4 staff.”

Josh Berry, JR Motorsports, Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Chevrolet Camaro

Josh Berry, JR Motorsports, Bass Professional Retailers/TRACKER Boats Chevrolet Camaro

Photograph by: John Harrelson / NKP / Motorsport Images



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