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CARS Late Model Stock Tour

Josh Berry Wins Old North State Nationals

Josh Berry held off an intense charge from Deac McCaskill in the closing laps to win the Old North State Nationals at Orange County Speedway.

Andy Marquis

New venue, same result.

Josh Berry dominated the previous running of the Old North State Nationals when it was relocated from Orange County Speedway in North Carolina to Greenville-Pickens Speedway in South Carolina due to the pandemic. Having successfully completed a NASCAR Xfinity Series start at Talladega on Saturday afternoon, Berry was able to fly back to North Carolina and do it again on Sunday.

Berry claimed $30,000 for the second straight year across both venues.

The JR Motorsports driver and competition director said that a decision to stay out on Lap 23 helped him obtain the track position he needed but admitted that maintaining it proved to be more difficult than expected.

“When we started off, I really wasn’t that happy with the car,” Berry said. “I wanted to get some adjustments pretty early on but track position was going to be important since it’s so hard to pass here. We were good enough but not by much.”

Berry was initially unsure if he would even be able to take part in the Old North State Nationals, as he kept his eye on the forecast at Talladega to see whether or not the NASCAR Xfinity Series race would be moved to Sunday or Monday.

NASCAR managed to complete 90 laps before rain prematurely ended the event. However, Berry was forced to settle for 31st after suffering a puncture.

Berry posted the fifth best time in qualifications and quickly worked his way to the front. Berry was able to keep his car at the front of the field once the rest of the field pitted at Lap 46 but he constantly had to withstand charges from Deac McCaskill during the second half.

McCaskill was thrilled to have a car capable of winning Sunday’s 200 lap feature but was disappointed that he was unable to make the most of his opportunities to pass Berry.

“This is the fastest car I’ve ever had here at this race track,” McCaskill said. “It’s tough to not bring home that $30,000 but I knew it was going to be tough to get back by Josh [Berry]. I almost got in front of him before that last competition caution but it wasn’t meant to be.”

Having competed against McCaskill numerous times during the 2010s, Berry knew that he would have to get the most out of his JR Motorsports Late Model in order to hold him off during the closing stages.

“I’ve raced with Deac a lot,” Berry said. “He’s pretty clean but we were just good enough off the corner and Deac had to tuck back in line even when he pulled even with us. I was able to drive it in really hard, slide it up and made it hard for him to knock me out of the way.”

Berry now has 20 CARS Late Model Stock Tour victories and said that he still has plenty of short track races left on his schedule once he is done with the Xfinity Series this year.

Along with potentially running at Caraway Speedway next month, Berry is also looking to bring home another big paycheck by defending his ValleyStar Credit Union 300 title in September.

RESULTS

1. Josh Berry
2. Deac McCaskill
3. Tyler Matthews
4. Jared Fryar
5. Stephen Nasse
6. Bobby McCarty
7. Bubba Pollard
8. Trevor Noles
9. Sam Yarbrough
10. Kaden Honeycutt
11. Brandon Pierce
12. Daniel Silvestri
13. Mini Tyrrell
14. Conner Jones
15. Camden Gullie
16. Ronald Hill
17. William Cox III
18. Jessica Cann
19. Mike Looney
20. Sammy Smith
21. Layne Riggs
22. Mason Diaz
23. Jonathan Shafer
24. Jonathan Findley
25. Justin Johnson
26. Joe Valento
27. Craig Moore
28. Sam Butler

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Brandon White graduated from the University of North Carolina pursuing a career in journalism. Prior to joining Short Track Scene, he worked with the CARS Tour and at Race22. He predominantly covers the CARS Tour as well as other races throughout the year.

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