One of today’s best Late Model Stock Car racers is eyeing a run at the most prestigious Super Late Model races in the country. Fresh off a successful fall season that included win in the prestigious Martinsville 300, as well as his first Super Late Model victory, Josh Berry hopes to put the pieces together to compete in the 52nd Annual Snowball Derby.
After leading every lap in both the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway (NC) and the CARS Late Model Stock Tour finale at South Boston Speedway (VA), Berry established himself as one of the hottest drivers in Late Model Stock Car racing.
Berry carried that momentum into last Saturday’s North-South Shootout at Hickory Motor Speedway (NC), coming from nearly two laps down to win the 150-lap Super Late Model feature of the event. With his first Super Late Model win under his belt, Berry is now eyeing a grander stage – an appearance in the Snowball Derby.
Appearing on Speed51’s “The Morning Bullring” Monday, Berry said he is working towards an effort for the 52ndAnnual Snowball Derby in hopes of making his first attempt at the Super Late Model crown jewel. While nothing is official at this time, he has a desire to compete in the race on December 2.
“For me, with Super Late Model racing, I felt like before I just jumped into the Derby I needed to prove myself and win a race,” Berry said. “I’m not going to lie, I’ve been having conversations about going to the Derby this year. It really comes down to funding. We’ve got to think on it a little bit and see what we can come up with.
“Obviously, I would love the opportunity to compete in that race. If I was able to bring together some funding to do it, I’d love to do it. I’m not making any sort of announcement yet, but we’re going to work on it in the next week or so and see what we can come up with.”
Berry feels like, based on his current level of performance, there is no better time to enter the Snowball Derby than right now.
“For me, personally, if I’m ever going to do something like this I feel like this is the best opportunity. I’m coming off a lot of big wins. Everything seems to be working for me right now. I know how hard it will be for me to make that race, but if I could go down there, make the race and have a solid run, you never know what kind of doors will open up.”
While Berry has cut his teeth on the Late Model Stock Car battlegrounds of the Carolinas, Virginia and Tennessee, he is a fan of the Snowball Derby and longs to be a part of the event.
“It’s just such a prestigious race. It’s one of those races that has been around forever. For Super late Model racing, it’s the race. Obviously, I’ve spent the last eight or nine years racing Late Model Stocks. For Late Model Stocks, that race is Martinsville. For Super Late Models, it’s the Derby. It’s a great facility and a great track. It’s something you want to be a part of, even if it is just once.
“It’s just an awesome race. I’m a fan of that race. I grew up watching a lot of Super racing between the All American 400 and the Derby. It would be a great opportunity if we could be in it.”
While he has not experienced the Snowball Derby, Berry knows how challenging a major race can be. Even as one of the top Late Model Stock drivers over the past several years, success in the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 eluded him for years before winning the race in 2019.
“Coming from experience with Martinsville, it took me years and years just to finish, let alone win it. I know how hard these big races are. To go down there and compete in something like that would mean a lot to me.
Berry knows that preparing for the race will be no small feat, which is why he hopes to have a potential deal done shortly to allow time for those preparations.
“It’s something we’re going to actively work on in the next week or two. It’s something we need to work on so we’ll have time to prepare for the race. I have some good ideas, it’s just a matter of sitting down and talking about it.”
Those interested in supporting Berry’s run at the Snowball Derby are encouraged to reach out to him on social media for more information.
Race fans who missed Berry’s interview can watch an on-demand replay of Speed51’s “The Morning Bullring” by clicking here. The show airs on Monday mornings starting at 7 a.m. on Speed51 and Speed51’s Facebook Page presented by Five Star Race Car Bodies.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 photo