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CARS Late Model Stock Tour

Josh Berry Holds On For Throwback 276 Win

Josh Berry had to withstand a late-race charge from Mason Diaz in the closing laps of Saturday’s Throwback 276 to score yet another CARS Tour victory.

Will Bellamy

The latest CARS Tour victory for Josh Berry was far from easy.

On a restart with ten laps remaining in the Throwback 276 at Hickory Motor Speedway, the all-time CARS Late Model Stock Car Tour wins leader had to withstand numerous charges from Mason Diaz, who was seeking his first win.

Berry applauded Diaz for the effort he put in trying to pass him during the closing laps

“[Mason] was a little bit better on the short run,” Berry said. “He pressured my left rear really bad and I couldn’t get away. I made him work the bottom but luckily we had enough drive off the corner to stay half a car-length away on the straightaways.”

Although Berry has only competed in a handful of Late Model Stock races this year because of his NASCAR commitments, the defending NASCAR Advanced Auto Parts Weekly Series champion has been nearly perfect in every attempt.

Berry nabbed his second consecutive $30,000 paycheck in the Old North State Nationals at Orange County Speedway on April 25. He followed that up by winning in his first Hampton Heat start at Langley Speedway last weekend.

Diaz’ season has been an antithesis of Berry’s. In his first full-time season, Diaz has shown the necessary speed to run up front but had an equal number of Top 10s and DNFs in three entering the Throwback 276.

Diaz, who was running a paint scheme honoring his father Michael’s career in Legends, believed his car was on equal pace with Berry but admitted that he could not make a clean pass on the Late Model Stock veteran.

“I just couldn’t run the high side like [Berry] could,” Diaz said. “I was trying to do the best I could on the bottom but I needed the concrete in Turn 1 and the apron in Turn 3 to get the car to turn 100 percent. On that last restart I gave him my best shot but there was nothing I could do without wrecking us both.”

Even though Diaz wanted to get his first career CARS Tour victory, he was proud of the effort everyone on his team put in towards preparing for the Throwback 276 and is hoping to carry the momentum over from Saturday into the rest of the year.

For Berry, he is unsure of when his next race in a Late Model Stock will be but he intends to cherish every moment he has in the discipline while he maps out his schedule for the remainder of 2021 and 2022.

“We’re taking things week-to-week,” Berry said. “I was planning on going to Wake County but that’s postponed so now we’ll have to make a new plan. I’m really enjoying racing with this group right now and all of my partners. They’ve supported me a long time and I want to do a good job for them.”

Whenever Berry decides to enter another Late Model Stock event, he will continue to serve as the benchmark for other teams as they attempt to improve their programs going forward.

Throwback 276 results:

1. Josh Berry
2. Mason Diaz
3. Sam Yarbrough
4. Mini Tyrrell
5. Jared Fryar
6. Bobby McCarty
7. Kaden Honeycutt
8. Sam Butler
9. Conner Jones
10. Deac McCaskill
11. Jonathan Shafer
12. Craig Moore
13. Justin Johnson
14. Jonathan Findley
15. Layne Riggs
16. Mike Looney
17. Brandon Pierce
18. Connor Mosack
19. Tyler Matthews
20. Landon Huffman
21. Joe Valento
22. Mike Darne
23. Mitch Walker
24. Daniel Silvestri
25. Bubba Pollard
26. Ryan Millington
27. Timothy Peters
28. Chase Dixon
29. Zane Smith

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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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