LEBANON, Tenn. — Josh Berry has been around for a while.
While in the midst of just his first full-time season at the NASCAR national series level, the No. 8 JR Motorsports driver — one of the few full-timers at the Xfinity Series level over the age of 30 — has a longer page on Racing Reference than most of his peers. No, really, go look for yourself and get ready to scroll.
The row at the top, however — his Cup Series stats — is one of the shortest ones. He’s determined to change that.
“It’s tough, right? I feel like I’m continuing to establish myself. I feel like I’m in a really good place as a race car driver. I still feel like I have a lot that I can do better and learn from and continue to improve,” Berry said Friday at Nashville Superspeedway, site of Saturday’s Tennessee Lottery 250 (3:30 p.m. ET, USA Network, NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). “My number one goal is obviously just to stay at this level, but at the same time I definitely have aspirations to move up.”
While his pair of Cup starts for Spire Motorsports last season didn’t result in finishes inside the top 25, the Henderson, Tennessee native has certainly done his part this year in reminding everyone why he got the call for fill-in duty in the first place. Currently fourth in NXS points and locked in for the playoffs, Berry has a pair of 2022 wins while compiling a strong 11.1 average finish — numbers certainly worthy of a look for a full-time Cup ride when combined with his overall racing acumen.
“I think if I’ve come this far, I think that there’s no reason why I wouldn’t have a set goal of racing in a Cup car one day,” Berry said. “Who knows if that day will come?”
JRM entering the Cup Series is a long-rumored move, but one with little front-facing traction and often downplayed by the organization’s famous co-owners. Still, Berry has a tremendous shot at further impressing his boss, Dale Earnhardt Jr., who will be on site for NBC Sports’ inaugural coverage weekend of 2022.
“Right now, I’m trying to enjoy this opportunity as much as I can and try to keep winning,” the accomplished late-model legend said. “I think that’s the important thing and that’s what they want and expect of me when I started driving the 8 and we’re going to try to keep doing it.”
And if he keeps doing it, the Cup Series might just come calling once again.