How much can actually happen in 100 laps? Well what we learned from the CARS Late Model Stock event is a lot. The lead seemed to be cursed for those who dared to take it and when the checkered flag flew it was Josh Berry holding the trophy in the Do the Dew 200 in his first start at Tri-County Speedway.
“I had never been here before and we just took our time,” said Berry. “Tommy (Lemons) would have been tough had he not broke early, but he still got back up there. It’s just so cool to come to these places for the first time and have success.”
Tommy Lemons Jr. was just one of the obstacles that Berry had to overcome. After taking the lead on lap 35, smoke began to come out of the Lemons car forcing CARS officials to black flag the leader to check for an oil leak.
“It was a small transmission leak that was getting on the headers,” said Lemons who passed 30 cars to get back to finish third. “We just need that luck. We finally got a better qualifying run and then this happens.”
Before Berry would get to the front, pole sitter Deac McCaskill gained the top spot for a few more laps before fading a bit to end up second.
“Josh is crazy fast right now,” said McCaskill.
McCaskill was the leader until Austin McDaniel got around him on lap 53. A few laps later Berry followed the No. 12 car to second.
“I thought we had a chance when Berry and the 12 of (Austin) McDaniel were racing hard for the lead,” said McCaskill.
That chance came when McDaniel allowed the No. 88 of Berry by on the lap 83 restart.
“The restart where I got the lead the 12 car didn’t get a good start and I was able to capitalize on that,” said Berry. “I wasn’t looking to rough him up, just get him to make a mistake.”
McDaniel was upset for the loss, but said it was his move.
“We were three-wide there for the lead and I got into his left rear and it kinda turned me around,” added McDaniel. “I think we had the car to win, but the cautions just didn’t help us.”
“I thought they got together,” added McCaskill. “I figured the 12 would be upset. We have had some great racing this season and this was just another one.
For Berry, McCaskill and Lemons it’s four races in a row that they were all in the top five. For McDaniel it’s his third top 10. He’ll be looking for more at Greenville.
For an on-demand replay of our Trackside Now coverage from Saturday night, click here: http://speed51.com/tn-cars-tour-tri-county-speedway-nc-61116/
-By Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Contributor
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com