Josh Berry is starting to settle in as a legit NASCAR Cup contender

It comes at a perfect time too as he seeks a new ride for the 2025 season

Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Amidst the uncertainty, Josh Berry is starting to show a glimpse of what kind of NASCAR Cup Series driver he could be for a contending team willing to pick up his contract next season after the closure of Stewart-Haas Racing.

He has contended for the win two weeks in a row, at Iowa and New Hampshire, and will start second after qualifying this weekend at Nashville Superspeedway, his home track.

So, there are a lot of reasons for Berry to be anxious, but increasingly more reasons to feel optimistic, especially as he expands to remain at the highest level of NASCAR next season.

“Yeah, I feel good about having a spot in the Cup Series next year,” Berry said. “I feel like our results have been really strong the last couple of months. I don’t really know other than winning a race at this point is the only thing left that I can do. We’ve finished in the top five. We’ve ran up front. We’ve led laps. We’ve showed the potential that we can do, so I think that’s been a big confidence boost for me. I really think that whole situation, at least for myself and our team, you find a lot about yourself when your back is against the wall and everybody is performing at a really high level, the highest probably we ever have, and we’re fighting together and I feel like opportunities will come.”

Can he win a race before the end of the regular season and qualify for the Cup Series Playoffs?

“I think so, yeah. We’ve led laps at Iowa. We were in contention on a late restart obviously at New Hampshire,” Berry said. “I’m not saying that I feel like we’re expected to or should win, but I think we can. I think our cars are getting competitive enough. It might take the right sequence of events, I guess, but we keep finding ourselves in this position, sooner or later something is going to happen.”

The biggest question, beyond if Berry will continue to race at the Cup Series level, is if he will be joined by Rodney Childers and what is now the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 team as a packaged deal. It’s something everyone who races under the No. 4 banner wants.

Berry says there are days that it looks possible and other days less so.

“We’ve had a ton of discussions, all kinds of different things,” Berry said. “Some days you feel like it’s more possible than others. I would love to stay with Rodney. I know he feels the same way, but I really can’t say for sure. I think time will tell.

“There’s been some opportunities out there where maybe that’s possible. There are some other opportunities where we’re not as sure if that’s possible, but we’re going to keep trying to provide results on the track like we have been the last couple of months.”

The big thing for Berry, especially now that he looks acclimated as a Cup Series contender, is that he and Childers have marketed their team as a plug-and-play combination — no learning curve and they can win immediately next year after working together in 2024.

“Having races like we had at Iowa and last week at New Hampshire, I mean, that’s the biggest audition there is,” he said. “We’re working together well and the way I look at it, it’s no risk. It’s turn key. You plug us in there and put the right people around us, we’re going to run like we do now.”

And now, back home in Middle Tennessee, he looks capable of contending again for a third week in a row.

“We had a really solid practice. The car felt really good and then I was little bit worried about the short run speed, but I felt like in practice I was just getting acclimated to everything,” Berry said. “We made some really good adjustments for qualifying and had some really good execution there, so we should be on the front row for my home race. That’s pretty cool.”

Matt Weaver is a Motorsports Insider for Sportsnaut. Follow him on Twitter.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: