Connect with us

Snowball Derby

Josh Berry makes debut Snowball Derby appearance with DLP

The ValleyStar Credit Union 300 winner has finally entered the Snowball Derby

Bruce Nuttleman | STS

Following a season in which he led wire-to-wire in the prestigious ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway and won four times in CARS Tour competition, Josh Berry simply wasn’t ready to call it an off-season.

So, the 28-year-old perennial Late Model Stock superstar cut a deal with Super Late Model team owner-crew chief David ‘Buggy’ Pletcher to run the North-South Shootout at Hickory Motor Speedway last month in a FURY Race Car with a RW Racing Engine.

He won in the foothills after nearly falling two laps down earlier in the event, and the continued run of success planted a hairbrained idea in the back of his mind.

Let’s go run the Snowball Derby.

READ MORE: Complete Snowball Derby coverage

Of course, this is no knee-jerk miniscule task, and it was actually more thought-out than it appeared, as Berry had long wanted to make an attempt in the Super Bowl of Short Track Racing.

“I mean, after the season we’ve had and coming off of Martinsville, winning the last CARS Tour race, and I just wasn’t ready to stop racing,” Berry told Short Track Scene on Wednesday night. “I just felt like this was a good opportunity.

“We went to Hickory first because I felt like I needed to prove to myself that we could win a Super Late Model, and make kind of a statement, before jumping knee-deep into this deal. Then came the tougher part of the calculus — finding funding for a competitive Snowball Derby effort.

He relied on several loyal partners who were only initially committed to his Late Model Stock program in Dale Earnhardt Jr’s Tallahassee Florida Chevrolet dealership, All Things Automotive, Tiger Rear Ends and Special Touch Collision Center.

“It surprised me,” Berry said. “It was a lot easier of a sell than I thought it would be. This race is so huge that everyone wants to be a part of it. It was just a matter of getting everyone on board and talking about what it would look like.”

READ MORE: Here is the qualifying order for Snowball Derby time trials

It helps that Berry’s resume is amongst the elite in Late Model Stock racing.

In addition to his 2019 Martinsville victory, he also holds triumphs in the 2017 Myrtle Beach 400, the 2017 CARS Tour championship and track championships at Motor Mile Speedway and Hickory in 2012 and 2014 respectively.

And Berry would view simply making the show and performing at a high level as equal to many of those accomplishments.

“This isn’t like anything else in short track racing,” Berry said. “It kind of reminds me of what NASCAR was like 10-15 years ago. It’s just a lot of people having fun. It’s a good atmosphere.

“It’s exciting to be a part of. There’s a lot going on here, but at the same time, there’s a lot of time to soak it in and enjoy it. Our schedules are usually so jammed packed that it’s hard to find times to enjoy stuff like the pit party. I’m looking forward to it. I can’t wait for the pressure of qualifying. I’ve been in some high-pressure situations at Martinsville, but I’ve always wanted to be a part of this one.”

If you like what you read here, become a Short Track Scene Patreon and support short track journalism!

Read more Short Track Scene:

Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He also has extensive experience covering NASCAR, IndyCar and Dirt Sprint Cars.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *




More in Snowball Derby