Overstock.com Racing: Josh Berry St. Louis Advance

Stewart-Haas Racing

●  Josh Berry takes on the uniquely-shaped Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Illinois, this Sunday. The Hendersonville, Tennessee, native has just one NASCAR start at the 1.25-mile oval just across the Mississippi River from downtown St. Louis, which occurred in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2021 behind the wheel of a Rackley W.A.R entry. In that event, Berry started the race 14th and finished 15th. It was one of 10 Truck Series starts that year for Berry.

●  Last Sunday, Berry pulled double duty in a rather unorthodox way. The 33-year-old rookie made his TV pit reporting debut during the drivers-only broadcast of the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. An hour after the completion of the Xfinity Series race, Berry jumped into his Overstock.com firesuit to take on the 1.5-mile Charlotte oval for Cup Series practice and qualifying. The No. 4 wheelman qualified 13th for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 and maneuvered to a ninth-place finish in the first stage. The No. 4 Overstock.com Ford Mustang Dark Horse had speed, and Berry was able to continue to run inside the top-10 in stage two, finishing the next 100-lap stint in eighth. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans for the race as rain shortened the event. It was called on lap 249. When the caution came out, Berry was in 10th place, securing his third consecutive top-10 finish, including the non-points-paying All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro (N.C.) Speedway on May 19.

●  Crew chief Rodney Childers makes his third start in the Cup Series at Gateway this Sunday. Both starts are in the NextGen era with driver Kevin Harvick in 2022 and 2023. In the 2022 event, Harvick qualified 20th and was caught up in an on-track incident that relegated him to a 33rd-place finish. In 2023, Harvick and Childers rebounded nicely, qualifying fourth en route to a 10th-place finish. Harvick finished sixth in the first stage sixth and eighth in the second stage eighth. 

●  After another top-10 result at Charlotte last weekend, Berry is ranked 19th in the Cup Series driver standings. Additionally, Berry leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings, 36 markers ahead of second-place driver Carson Hocevar.

●  The No. 4 pit crew shined under the lights at Charlotte, its shining moment coming by way of a an 8.43-second four-tire pit stop, according to Stewart-Haas Racing pit department data. The four-tire stop, the team’s fifth stop of the evening, was completed on lap 173 and ranks as its fastest pit stop in the single-lug era. The five-man over-the-wall crew for the No. 4 team is made up of Brandon Banks (jackman), Daniel Coffey (front-tire changer), Mason Flynt (tire carrier), Evan Marcel (fueler), and Daniel Smith (rear-tire changer).

●  Overstock.com adorns Berry’s No. 4 Ford Mustang at Gateway. 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

You have very limited experience at Gateway with only one Truck Series start in 2021. What are the expectations you and the No. 4 team have heading there this Sunday?

“We don’t have too many expectations going to Gateway, honestly. I feel like, in general, with only having one Truck Series start there and the Cup cars only being there a couple of times, I am not exactly sure what to expect, but we are all on the same page that we will just adapt as the weekend evolves. We have a routine for our preparation each week and it’s starting to pay off recently. We are going to do the best we can and just see how it goes.”

With such little time spent on track, do you plan to spend more time in the simulator or doing extra prep work to be ready for the weekend?

“I think we are spending a little more time getting me comfortable and acclimated with the characteristics of the track and the parts that make it unique. Some weeks we are probably able to hone in on the car with the finer details during the simulator prep, but this time is more about getting me comfortable and a little more confident before we unload in St. Louis. The No. 4 team has been really thorough in their approach to the weekend, analyzing data and looking for the trends that we can prepare for and they came back in their second year at Gateway and finished inside the top-10. So I think we can continue that upward momentum, we will just have to use our time wisely during practice and get prepped a little faster than normal.”

What other tracks or races are you looking at to help with the preparation for Sunday’s race?

“Gateway is so unique that I am not sure I can look at another track to get an idea of what to expect. Even when I look back on the Truck race, it wasn’t a great experience when you compare it to some of the other starts I had that year in the same truck, so I don’t know if I can use that as a baseline, either. I expect it to be a challenge, but if we do the things we need to do to prepare, I feel confident that we can do well and have a good run. We have gone to other tracks this year where I haven’t had a ton of experience and we learned a lot and were able to compete, so I expect our team to do the same this weekend.”

Reflecting on this season so far, how do you break down how the first 15 races have gone for you and the No. 4 team?

“We are way more comfortable and confident in each other, and this group is just having a lot of fun. We have had so many solid days and we definitely have missed out on some good days that I feel like we should’ve earned. For all of us, we all see the potential we can reach if we continue the trend we are on and continuing on. I keep saying it, but I am just having a lot of fun with my group and I feel like we have really bonded well. We have all bought into working with each other and I am looking forward to getting to the summer months and going for wins as the year goes on.”


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