GREENVILLE, S.C. – Josh Berry put the cherry on top of an impressive season with a victory in the Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour Old North State Nationals early Sunday evening at Greenville-Pickens Speedway, earning $30,000 for his efforts.
Jared Fryar was crowned the CARS Late Model Stock Tour champion following a 13th-place finish.
Berry, who was recently crowned the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series National champion, was the man to beat throughout Sunday’s 200-lap affair.
Racing began shortly after 3 p.m. ET, but a storm 13 laps in brought racing to a halt for more than an hour. Layne Riggs was the leader at the time after taking the lead from Berry, who started from the pole, during the first 10 laps.
When the race resumed Riggs remained on point until a competition caution on lap 68. Most of the leaders came down pit road for fuel or tires during the caution, with only Peyton Sellers and Chad McCumbee remaining on track.
Berry was quick to pounce once the green flag waved, quickly moving his No. 8 JR Motorsports late model to the lead on the 71st circuit. He would remain in the lead until lap 148, when the caution flag waved again for Mother Nature’s interference.
After another red flag for weather, Berry led most of the leaders down pit road for the final round of pit stops. Berry opted to take on his two fresh tires during the caution period, a move that would pay dividends later.
The only major incident of the day came during the ensuing restart, when Connor Mosack stumbled and stacked up the field behind him. Several cars were collected in the melee, including those of Mike Looney and Riley Gentry.
Berry narrowly avoided the incident, leaving him to restart seventh behind the group of cars that didn’t pit. When the green flag waved Berry fired off in a hurry, quickly moving to third on lap 153.
After dispatching Deac McCaskill for second on lap 157, Berry ran down Riggs to take the lead on lap 161. Berry would lead the remainder of the race uncontested to earn his first CARS Tour win of the season and the $30,000 payday that went with it.
“Really we had a great car the first half, we were able to manage it a little bit early and then get the lead,” said Berry. “Honestly, at the break (on lap 68) when all those guys pitted I did not see that coming at all. I thought that was way too early. Then it started to rain.
“I felt pretty confident that really eight to 10 cars would stay out (during the final round of pit stops) and the rest would have to pit for adjustments. That put us back in eighth or ninth, but two tires with 50 to go and everybody else had 50 lap older tires, so we were in a good spot.”
After a back-and-forth tussle in the final 20 laps, Corey Heim finished second ahead of Riggs. Fourth went to McCaskill, with Jonathan Findley coming home in fifth.
Fryar became the first driver to win championships in both CARS Tour divisions. He won the CARS Super Late Model Tour title in 2018 before adding the CARS Late Model Stock Tour title this season.
The Trinity, N.C., driver struggled with his race car throughout the Old North State Nationals, but his 13th-place finish was just enough to give him the series championship over Riggs and Heim.
“This means a lot to be able to win the late model stock championship and to race this year was definitely pretty special,” Fryar said. “This was definitely a crazy year with the different tracks we were going to, the schedule changing, off time and all that stuff and a new team and new people and all that stuff kind of came together.
“It’s awesome. I’m just so thankful and so happy to be celebrating on the front straightaway with them. They’re the ones that make it happen for me.”
Josh Berry, Corey Heim, Layne Riggs, Deac McCaskill, Jonathan Findley, Bobby McCarty, Nolan Pope, Chad McCumbee, Austin Somero, Connor Mosack, Mike Looney, Justin Johnson, Jared Fryar, Cameron Bolin, Taylor Satterfield, Tyler Matthews, Brandon Pierce, Ralph Carnes, Timothy Peters, Jessica Cann, Trey Gibson, Matt Cox, Mike Darne, Peyton Sellers, Riley Gentry, Janson Marchbanks, Ross Dalton, Ronald Hill, Mini Tyrrell, Jackie Manley.