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Sources: Josh Berry to replace Kevin Harvick in NASCAR Cup ride

josh berry
Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Berry will be named the next driver of the Stewart Haas Racing No. 4 in the NASCAR Cup Series during a press conference on Wednesday, sources confirmed to Sportsnaut.

Berry will take over for Kevin Harvick, the 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion, who is retiring at the end of the season. In addition, Berry has also signed with KHI Management, the representation firm founded by Harvick, which has clients across various sports and entertainment industries.

The 32-year-old Berry, who currently races in the Xfinity Series with JR Motorsports, will be paired with crew chief Rodney Childers and the same engineering foundation that has won 37 races with Harvick since the No. 4 team was founded prior to the 2014 season.

Berry has served as a super substitute of sorts this season, driving both the Hendrick Motorsports No. 9 and 48 cars as both Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman missed time due to injuries sustained away from the track, amassing three top-10s in eight starts including a runner-up finish at Richmond Raceway in April.

Josh Berry’s storybook ride

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Signing with Stewart-Haas Racing marks the culmination of one of the most remarkable journeys in NASCAR through recent memory as Berry spent the past decade largely racing in the short track ranks before catching on in the Xfinity Series during the 2021 season.

Berry has long had a vocal advocate in team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr., who has routinely expressed conviction that Berry could win races at the highest level should anyone give him the opportunity, with the driver backing up that faith with five Xfinity Series wins over the past two and a half seasons.

Earnhardt first met Berry on the internet in 2008 as both were avid sim racers who competed over an online network via the iRacing platform. At the time, Berry was racing Legend cars at his home track, legendary Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. The two-time Daytona 500 winner eventually moved Berry to North Carolina and hired him to race Late Models under the JR Motorsports banner, becoming one of the winningest drivers in the discipline over the past decade.

Despite the success in the lower levels of the sport, Earnhardt struggled to find Berry the funding needed to race in Craftsman Trucks or Xfinity Series, breaking through only after they won the NASCAR Weekly Series National Championship together in 2020.

Berry won twice in a part-time Xfinity Series role in 2021, added two more wins last season in a full-time role that took him all the way to a championship race appearance to now becoming one of the most sought-after free agents of the summer.

That journey will now take him to Stewart-Haas, co-owned by another NASCAR Hall of Famer in Tony Stewart, where Berry will now drive one of the most successful cars of the past decade with the full endorsement of its predecessor and a future first ballot Hall of Famer in Harvick.

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

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