N News & Results

Davidson: JRM rookie Berry wins Xfinity race at Martinsville

Martinsville, Va, Apr 11/21 (by John Davidson): Thirteen was a lucky number for Josh Berry at Martinsville in the Cook Out 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race. In just his thirteenth start driving an Xfinity car for Dale Earnhardt Jr, he came home a winner here at Martinsville. After rain Friday night stopped the race before the second Stage could be completed, the race restarted at noon on Sunday under clear, sunny skies. Berry's lead at the finish of only 0.590 sec was only reduced from over a full second by traffic as he had the legs over the rest of the field, including Dash for Cash bonus winner Noah Gragson.

Typical short track action saw several bump and run moves, with a few, notably the touch by Gray Gaulding into the rear bumper of Joe Graf, that sent Graf's car into contact with Blaine Perkins, spinning out Perkins and causing one of the twelve cautions that slowed the race for 75 of the 250 scheduled laps.

Apparently, there was more than one incident between the two as after the race, Graf wanted to talk to Gaulding and "he mouthed off to me and there were some punches thrown. I landed a couple," commented Graf later. “I think the garage is just loaded with drivers who pretend they’re tough. Like, they’re going to find out how tough they are if they race me like that and then run their mouth at me. Just ask Gray how he’s doing now. I’m sure he’s needing some ice packs.”

In spite of their confrontation following the recent Atlanta race, Gragson and Daniel Hemric, second and third-place finishers, never seemed to have a problem on track with each other here. Earlier in the race, Hemric got involved in a typical restart accordion and bent up the hood on his Toyota. “We got back there after Stage two and trying to take advantage of the full day and somebody checked up in the middle of one and two – knocked the hood up and I couldn’t see once I got within a half-a-car of somebody. It took me probably too long to get used to that and we finally started making progress and got up there with better cars. Kind of caught me off guard as to how much better our speed was compared to other cars at the end. Had to use my stuff up to get there. Once we got to third, we were better than the 8 (Josh Berry) and the 9 (Noah Gragson), just had to use our stuff up to get there.”

• Click HERE for the Cumulative Race Report
• Click HERE for the Race Results

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