The CARS Tour rolled into Hickory Motor Speedway Saturday evening and the local heroes had the upper hand from the drop of the first green flag. Leading the cast of characters was 2014 track champion Josh Berry. The Tennessee native knew what it would take to win at Hickory, but he didn’t know that he would end up doing it with pieces missing from his race car.
Midway into the race Berry got hooked together with RD Smith and it all but ripped the left-front fender off his No. 88 JR Motorsports machine. Berry rode around damaged under yellow and decided to stay out. The fender would fly off on the next green flag run. Berry then out lasted several yellows and restarts to claim the lead and the win.
“I didn’t realize how bad it looked,” said Berry of the fender. “The car came back to me at the end and I knew if I could get to the lead I was going to be good. It was going to be tough to get there and I had to fight hard on the bottom with Deac to get the top spot.”
The damage looked to slow the car immediately after the contact, but Berry kept chipping away to capture his fourth career CARS Tour victory.
“I hate it for him, but it was just a racing deal,” said Berry. “We kinda got hung together and I tried to back out and it didn’t work.”
Berry was able to keep his position on the track and maintain his top-five position. It looked like it was hindering the performance, but as the race drew closer to the finish Berry moved to the point and out dueled Deac McCaskill for the win.
“It was a good points night for us,” said McCaskill. “I wanted a top five and we were better and even led some laps. We are off to a great start and now we get to go home to Southern National in two weeks.”
Tommy Lemons, Jr. was third and former track champion Austin McDaniel was fourth and Landon Huffman was fifth after setting fast time. Last year’s track champion Matt Piercy led most of the early part of the race before spinning from the top spot. He would rebound and finish 10th.
Late Model Stock Finishing Order
1 88b Josh Berry 125
2 08 Deac McCaskill 125
3 27 Tommy Lemons, Jr. 125
4 12M Austin McDaniel 125
5 75 Landon Huffman 125
6 28 Chris Hudspeth 125
7 88 Chris Davis 125
8 42 Craig Stallard 125
9 1 Christian Eckes 125
10 21P Matt Piercy 125
11 31 Thomas Beane 125
12 98 Stefan Parsons 123
13 7 Justin Crider 108
14 74 Ronald Hill 108
15 29 Jake Ruggles 95
16 16s R.D. Smith, III 67
17 12 Ryan Wilson 65
18 41 Chase Purdy 54
19 14 Ryan Repko 53
-By Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent – Twitter: @ElginTraylor
-Photo credit: Speed51.com