MOORESVILLE, N.C. – In a surprise announcement Thursday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, JR Motorsports team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. broke the news that Josh Berry will run a partial NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule next year.
Berry, the newly-crowned NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Division I national champion, has been tabbed to drive the team’s No. 8 Chevrolet in the Xfinity Series for roughly 12 races during the first half of the 2021 season.
The news comes on the heels of Berry’s title-winning late model season, which included a stunning 26 victories, 36 top-five and 38 top-10 finishes.
“I’m excited to tell you … that we’re committing to put you in the No. 8 Chevrolet for a dozen races in the first half of 2021,” Earnhardt Jr. told Berry. “You worked hard for this opportunity. We’ll have more details in the coming months, but I wanted to let you know we’re going to go Xfinity racing next year.”
The 29-year-old is a 10-year veteran of JRM’s late model program.
“I’m honestly speechless,” a surprised Berry said. “That’s the last thing I would have expected. Gosh, that’s amazing. I can’t wait to prepare for that and get going. [It’s] truly unbelievable. I just can’t thank everybody enough for believing in me and giving me these opportunities.
“For a short track guy, it’s just amazing to see these opportunities come about.”
Berry has a win in the 2019 ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway, a CARS Tour late model stock car driver title in 2017, the CARS Tour late model stock owner’s title in 2016 and track titles at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway and Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va., on his career resume.
A native of Hendersonville, Tenn., Berry is no stranger to Xfinity Series competition, either. He’s made a total of seven starts, including five for JRM, and earned a pair of top-10 finishes at Richmond and Iowa.
The latter half of the No. 8 Chevrolet’s 2021 season will see 17-year-old Wisconsin native Sam Mayer take the reins of the entry.