It would have been understandable if Josh Berry had shown some sign of frustration following the 125-lap CARS Tour Late Model Stock Car race of Saturday’s autosbynelson.com 250 at South Boston Speedway.
Trailing Bobby McCarty by nine points in the chase for the series title, the 2017 CARS Tour champion checked off every possible points box, did everything he could do – won the pole, led every lap and won the race in dominating fashion, only to come up one point shy of winning the championship.
“Obviously, it’s disappointing coming up a little short in the championship,” Berry remarked after having notched his fourth series win, fourth pole win and seventh top-five finish of the season, “but it’s hard to be disappointed with the type of performance we have had this year.
“Bobby answered the call,” added Berry.
“He had to run second, and he got up there, and he got to second.”
McCarty, likewise, did what he needed to do. After a tough qualifying effort that left him starting 11th in the field, the Summerfield, North Carolina, resident staged a valiant, gut-wrenching rally, edging Corey Heim by two feet at the finish to capture second place, ending a dramatic battle the two drivers waged over the final 50 laps.
“I know we did our jobs, and Bobby did his,” Berry pointed out.
“It was tough with the restarts and everything. You’ve got to be in the right lane, and it was able to work out for Bobby.”
Berry said after the race he and his race team rarely talked about the championship.
“We really didn’t acknowledge it the whole weekend,” he pointed out.
“We just planned to come here and do what we could. I told my wife earlier if we were to come here and win the pole and do all of that and win the championship I don’t know what I would do next. We didn’t get the championship this year, but it is more motivation for next year.”
Berry staged a dominant performance in Saturday’s race. Just as he did in dominating the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville, he won the pole and had no trouble in getting away from the field on restarts and opening up solid leads.
To be able to do it South Boston Speedway was gratifying.
“The last couple of years we really haven’t had too great a runs here,” Berry explained.
“Since they repaved the track I have kind of struggled. It’s just a credit to all of these guys. They do a great job and we put a lot of work into it.
“It’s just a credit to all of these guys on the team,” added Berry.
“All in all, it’s been an unbelievable year for us.”