Josh Berry took the lead on a lap 58 restart en route to victory in the Championship Auto Racing Series (CARS) Late Model Stock Tour at Concord Speedway. However, numerous restarts prevented the win from being that easy.
Time and time again, Berry defended his lead on restarts as eight cautions slowed the 125-lap feature. Surviving the chaos and intensity, Berry scored his 12th career CARS Tour win.
“It was wild,” Berry said. “We had a good car in the beginning, but this race was longer than the last couple we’ve had here. I felt like saving tires would be more important.”
Berry took the lead by using the outside line against Bradley McCaskill. With his success in the upper groove on that restart, Berry used it time and again in defending the lead over the closing laps.
“Those restarts make it hard on tires,” Berry said. “You had to race so hard. I was able to get the lead on the outside. At the end, I had to stick with what was working and what got us there.”
Brandon Grosso scored his best career CARS Tour finish, coming home second to Berry. While his car wasn’t quite set up well enough to challenge Berry for the win, Grosso was still excited with the strong run.
“The last 40 laps, I was pretty free,” Grosso said. “I was burning my tires. That last run, the tires were a little cool and I pushed up. It was over from there, I was just too free through the dogleg.
“I’m happy to finish second,” Grosso added. “That’s my best career finish in the CARS Tour. We’re getting better and better every week. Hopefully, we can pick up a win.”
Defending series champion Deac McCaskill qualified on the pole for the 125-lap feature. However, he was relegated to the rear of the field before the race for changing a flat tire. McCaskill charged through the field to finish third.
“Getting in the car, our right-front tire had lost three pounds of air,” McCaskill said. “We had a flat tire. It was too much of a risk. We just had to change tires, man. Unfortunately, when you do that, you have to go to the rear. Fortunately, we had a tire that only had 15 laps on it.
“We caught a few breaks,” McCaskill continued. “The cautions helped us out at the beginning, but they hurt in the end. My car was really good on long runs. We had a great car at the end. Just a little bit of bad luck.”
The CARS Late Model Stock Tour will next take the track for their season finale at South Boston Speedway. The Late Model Stocks and Super Late Models of the CARS Tour will run 125-lap features in their first trip to the Virginia 0.400-mile oval.
-By Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
CARS Tour Late Model Stocks
Concord Speedway (NC) – August 26, 2017
|4||27||Tommy Lemons, Jr.|
|9||23||Terry Brooks, Jr.|