HomeSportsNascarJosh Berry Earns First Top-10 Finish Filling in For Chase Elliott at Phoenix

Josh Berry Earns First Top-10 Finish Filling in For Chase Elliott at Phoenix

by Jonathan Howard
Josh Berry drives with Ryan Preece
(Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

Even though he has to sit at home, I’m sure that Chase Elliott appreciated Josh Berry’s efforts to get the 9 into the top 10. This NASCAR season is not going how Elliott imagined. But if his backup driver can keep improving, then things might not be so bad.

While Berry can’t earn points for Chase Elliott, he can get points for the owners and the car itself. With NASCAR having different championships, all of that stuff matters.

Folks didn’t want to give Berry a chance again this week. After he jumped into the No. 9 last week in Las Vegas on less than a day’s notice, he didn’t perform well. He kept at it this week and thanks to some restarts at the end, claimed a P10 finish. Hendrick finished 1-4-9-10 on the day.

He wasn’t sure what he could have done to improve on the day, besides having more mileage.

“I don’t know just some experience probably,” Berry said to NASCAR. “This group did a great job. We had a great week preparing for this. Just trying to get more acclimated with this Next Gen car. We fought all day, each run was a little bit different. I’m trying to learn how the car drives over the course of a long run, what adjustments I need to tell them to make to be better.”

We saw this car move up throughout the race and it was awesome. Berry is clearly a talented driver and someone that will likely be in the Cup Series in the future. For now, he’s going to take the opportunities as he gets them in Chase Elliott’s car.

Josh Berry Will Get More Chances in Chase Elliott’s Car

Having to come in on late notice to race a car you’ve never been in can be hard. That’s why Berry struggled so much in his first go around. After just a week the difference is night and day. It really comes down to the timing of it all.

The biggest difference is getting that week to prepare. Hitting the simulator and going through the usual motions of a race week. It was important for Berry in his second race for Chase Elliott.

“It was so nice to have a chance to work with this group and get to know them a little bit better, do some stuff in the simulator, just be at Hendrick Motorsports, be around this group. Obviously, to know that I’m going to run all the ovals is definitely a little bit of ease of mind that I’m not necessarily racing for my life out here. I at least got a few more, depending.”

So, Berry is going to get suited back up this week and prepare for Atlanta. A little superspeedway racing will be fun for the driver as he gets another shot at the Cup Series. He’s got a P10 finish already, what else can he do?