Overstock.com Racing: Josh Berry Charlotte Advance

Stewart-Haas Racing

●  This Sunday, the NASCAR Cup Series takes on the grueling, 600-mile challenge of the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. Josh Berry will be making his first career Cup Series start on the 1.5-mile oval and brings with him a short but impressive history there, having driven his way to victory lane in just his second career Charlotte start as a NASCAR Xfinity Series competitor in May 2022. In that race, Berry started fourth, won the first stage, finished second in the second stage, and led 89 of 200 laps. In his Charlotte debut, Berry was involved in an on-track incident that relegated him to a 32nd-place finish in the May 2021 Xfinity Series race. Last May, he started 14th and finished 15th.

●  During All-Star Race festivities last weekend at North Wilkesboro (N.C.) Speedway, Berry was charged with having to race his way into the main event via the All-Star Open. He lined up seventh on the Open grid per the NASCAR rule book after qualifying was rained out. He fought a loose-handling No. 4 Ford Mustang but used his knowledge of the track from past starts running Late Models there and found speed by running the top lane in turns one and two. Berry was eighth at the halfway mark of the 100-lap Open, when he made a mandatory four-tire pit stop. Lightning-quick work by the No. 4 pit crew gained him three spots, placing him fifth for the lap-56 restart. From there, he maneuvered to third by race’s end, narrowly missing the All-Star Race by just one position.

●  Crew chief Rodney Childers is no stranger to speed at Charlotte as the shot-caller during his Cup Series career. Childers’ drivers have scored pair of wins there (David Reutimann in 2009 after starting the race 21st, and former No. 4 Stewart-Haas driver Kevin Harvick in 2014). In his 30 previous starts atop the pit box, Childers’ drivers have amassed nine top-five finishes, 18 top-10s and four pole awards. His drivers have an average starting position of 10.8 and an average finish of 14. Charlotte Motor Speedway is truly Childers’ home track as he hails from Mooresville, North Carolina. His first racing experience came at age 12 during a trip to a local go-kart track. His friend raced and, as Childers looked on, he was instantly hooked. He knew he wanted to race and asked for a go-kart, but money was tight. That was until Childers’ mother Brenda, who at the time used her handiwork to create intricately patterned quilts to earn extra money for the family, started a new quilt to help buy Childers a go-kart for Christmas. When Childers started racing, he would set up his go-kart and load it into the back of the family pickup truck. He and his mom would go to the racetrack each weekend. She would help by warming up his engine before the race and then cheer for him in the stands. Childers proved to be a natural behind the wheel, and it wasn’t long before others took notice. Within a year, Childers reached a deal to drive for a go-kart shop with financial backing.

●  Berry heads to Charlotte this weekend leading the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings, 19 points ahead of Carson Hocevar. Berry is currently ranked 21st in the overall Cup Series standings. 

●  As part of NASCAR’s 600 Miles of Remembrance program, Berry and the No. 4 team will honor United States Marine Corps Corporal Jennifer Parcell, who hailed from Bel Air, Maryland. She was assigned to Combat Logistics Regiment 3, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Okinawa, Japan. CPL Parcell died while participating in the Corps’ Lioness program. The Lioness program utilized female Marines from different military occupational specialties to search Iraqi women at checkpoints. CPL Parcell was killed in action on Feb. 7, 2007, when an Iraqi woman she was searching detonated an explosive vest she was wearing. CPL Parcell graduated in 2004 from Fallston

(Maryland) High School, where she excelled in math. She ventured to Parris Island to watch the Marine Corps graduation ceremonies for her older brother, Joseph. That was when she decided she wanted to be a Marine. She joined the Corps in January 2005 and became a landing support specialist for combat operations. CPL Parcell was a petite dynamo and always on the go. Even while in Iraq, she was taking an online course at University of Maryland, and spent her free time in yoga classes. Helping others was also something she made a point to do. She sponsored an African child through a mission charity and, when an earthquake devastated Pakistan last year, she and others in her unit were dispatched to the scene – she earned the Humanitarian Service Medal for her efforts. March 1, 2007, was when she was scheduled to leave Iraq and return to Okinawa. Parcell loved the water-related activities, including boating and scuba diving. She planned to leave the Marines and attend college fulltime when her tour was scheduled to end in 2009.

●  Overstock.com adorns Berry’s No. 4 Ford Mustang at Charlotte, but with a patriotic twist. This vibrant red and white scheme adds hints of blue and white stars to celebrate and pay tribute to Memorial Day weekend. The partnership amplifies the recent relaunch of Overstock.com, home of crazy good deals that offer quality and style for less. Overstock.com is for the savvy shopper who loves the thrill of the hunt and it includes product categories customers know and love, like patio furniture, home furniture and area rugs, while reintroducing jewelry, watches and health-and-beauty products.

Josh Berry, Driver of the No. 4 Overstock.com Ford Mustang Dark Horse

What does it mean to carry CPL Parcell’s name on the No. 4 Overstock.com Ford Mustang Dark Horse this weekend for Memorial Day weekend?

“It means a lot to be able to give back to CPL Parcell’s family and honor the sacrifice she made to this county. Without brave people like her protecting our country and freedom, I wouldn’t be able to race on Sundays, and to be able to pay such a small tribute to her this weekend is really special to not only myself, but everyone on the No. 4 team. Hopefully we can carry her to victory lane this weekend. I know our whole team is even more motivated to run well for her.”

You have back-to-back third-place finishes in the last two Cup Series events you ran. What does that say about the progress you and the No. 4 team have made this season?

“To me, it proves that we are continuing to grow as a team and that we can run up front. I said it from the start of the year, this team is really solid and can run up front. We all knew it would take some time to gel and sync up as a team, but the back-to-back third-place finishes give us all the sense that we are on the right track with our process and that if we continue to work hard, study hard, and come to the track prepared, we can be just as competitive as any team on pit road. I don’t think we have reached our peak, yet, and we have the rest of the season to find victory lane.”

Talk about your May 2022 Xfinity Series win at Charlotte. You had a really strong showing, starting fourth before winning the race. What made the biggest difference that day?

“Honestly, that was probably the best car I ever drove. We unloaded at Charlotte with a ton of speed and knew that we would be contenders. My team did a really good job of putting together a good strategy and making the right adjustments in the race and kept me in the battle with Justin Allgaier that day. It was just an awesome day for our group.”

The Coca-Cola 600 is the longest race of the year and it’s the first under the lights this year. Does that play into your favor when looking at this weekend, knowing mile-and-a-halves are typically some of the more racy places you visit?

“Having a longer race like that gives us the opportunity to learn which has been our mantra since the start of the year. We have improved little by little each time at intermediates. It’s also two-fold because we can try a lot of things and see what helps and what doesn’t in order to build a better notebook. Ford gave us a new body this year with the Dark Horse, and I think having 600 miles to work on it and learn will help us with our understanding of what we can do to create speed throughout a race. I have to keep the car clean and execute on my end and hopefully we can have a shot at getting the No. 4 team a win.”


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