Defending CARS Late Model Stock Car Series champion Josh Berry will begin his 2018 title hunt this weekend with the bright green colors of All Things Automotive on board his No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet for the season. The McConnellsburg, Pa.-based entity is part of the Thomas Automotive Family Dealerships owned by Mark Thomas, a former car owner in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
All Things Automotive is an integrator of services in the automotive aftermarket, combining sales, service and parts in one location, and provides car owners with convenient service and low pricing.
“When we were involved with NASCAR back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, it was an exciting time to be in the sport,” Thomas said. “We are planning to expand into the Virginia and North Carolina markets, and the CARS Tour is a good match for what we plan to do. Becoming a partner with JR Motorsports, with all the history and success they have had, is an excellent opportunity to bring our brand forward. Josh Berry is a young, talented driver who has had a lot of success.”
JRM’s Late Model program is the heart of the company founded by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and General Manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller. Both got their start in the sport, along with brother Kerry, driving Late Models owned by their father, Dale Earnhardt Sr. Berry, the team’s veteran driver with 45 wins, holds two track championships, at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway and Motor Mile Speedway in Virginia, in addition to his CARS titles.
“Having All Things Automotive on our No. 88 Chevrolet is a great way to start our CARS Tour title defense,” said Berry on the eve of Saturday’s season opener at Tri-County Motor Speedway in Hudson, N.C. “We’ve had plenty of success in the CARS Tour, with last year’s driver championship and the owner championship in 2016, and we’re proud to have Mark and All Things Automotive with us as we begin the 2018 season.”
Thomas, the fourth generation of his family to be involved in the automobile business dating back to 1909, owned cars in the NXS series from 1988-1994, starting 120 races and earning six top-five and 33 top-10 finishes over that span with drivers David Donohue, Tom Peck and Stevie Reeves.
The Thomas family also has a long history of motorsports participation, beginning with the Thomas Chevrolet 150 at Jennerstown (Pa.) Speedway in the early years of the NASCAR Grand National North Series. The 1988 race included Earnhardt Sr. in the starting lineup.