After starting on the outside of the front row, Josh Berry knew his team had a fast car for Saturday night’s CARS Tour Late Model Stock Car race at Anderson Motor Speedway (SC). With a fast No. 88 machine under him and a prime starting spot up front, Berry took advantage and scored his second CARS Tour win of the 2017 season.
All day teams in the pit area talked about how the name of the game would be tire conservation, but Berry decided he wanted to conserve those tires from the front of the field.
“It feels good to be back here,” Berry said after the race on Saturday. “We are really going to build on this and try and put together more top-three runs and be consistent to try and get back into points contention.”
One person that would have been there to challenge him had he slipped was rookie driver Ryan Repko who qualified on the pole, setting a new CARS Tour track record.
“The fourteen car (Repko) was the only one I was really worried about there for a while because he was quick,” Berry stated. “But from the looks of it he just wore his stuff out way quicker than I did.”
Repko led the early part of the race before losing the lead to local driver Cody Haskins, a member of the Kulwicki Driver Development Program.
Ty Gibbs, the grandson of Coach Joe Gibbs, moved his way to the front before scoring a career-best finish in the CARS Tour by finishing second to Berry. The young driver stayed within the top five almost the entire race and made a late-race charge to put himself in second, but he didn’t have enough to catch Berry.
“When they told me it was go-time we just went for it, but didn’t have enough for Josh,” Gibbs stated. “We weren’t really saving our tires but it ended up being a race of who had the most at the end and we were in a good spot.”
In the final laps, after Berry had checked out for the win, the racing action came down to Berry’s teammate Anthony Alfredo and Justin Johnson. The two drivers battled side-by-side in the closing laps only for Johnson to make a last-lap pass and inch out Alfredo to round out the podium.
“Anthony and I had some really good-hard racing going on in the closing laps. We really didn’t intentionally save tires, I think we just had more than the others at the
end of the race, but I wish we would have had more to be up there and run with Josh for the win,” Johnson said.
The CARS Tour heads to Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, NC on June 24 for their next race.
For on-demand coverage of Saturday’s Border Wars 250 at Anderson Motor Speedway, visit Speed51.com’s Trackside Now coverage here.
-By Hannah Newhouse, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
CARS Tour LMSC Feature Unofficial Results: