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Berry Sweeps Hickory Late Model Twin 51s, Mosack Posts Two Top-15s for JRM

Hickory Motor Speedway

What layoff?

Racing for the first time since March, JRM’s Josh Berry dominated Saturday night’s Twin 51s for Late Models at Hickory Motor Speedway, notching his 27th and 28th career victories for JRM at the historic .363-mile oval.

The last time Berry and JR Motorsports teammate Connor Mosack raced was March 7, in a CARS Racing Tour event at Southern National Speedway in which Mosack (third) and Berry (fourth) both notched top-five finishes.

In his return to the track in the No. 88 All Things Automotive/iRacing Chevrolet from the JRM stable, Berry was on point all day long. He set fast time, two-tenths of a second faster than the next-fastest driver in the 27-car field, and when the green flag waved, Berry simply checked out. The lone caution of the first race happened fairly early in the event, when a blown engine littered the speedway with oil and, subsequently, speedy-dry. None of it seemed to bother Berry, who nonetheless got a touch loose while battling lapped cars during the remaining laps. The Tennessee driver led every lap on the way to a dominant victory over rookie Gage Painter and former track champion Matt Piercy. Austin McDaniel was fourth and Corey Heim fifth in the opener.

Mosack, who competed in the weekly series at Hickory last season, qualified his Nic Tailor/International Foam & Supply Chevrolet 17th for the first 51-lapper, and fought a loose condition all race long. Despite tightening the car repeatedly, the car would always work back to loose, and that hampered his ability to advance and keep the spots, especially since more than half the field was within a tenth of a second. About halfway through the first feature, Mosack had passed up to 13th and held what he had to save tires for the second feature.

In the second 51-lap feature, Berry would start 10th in the nightcap after a field inversion. It took just 18 laps for Berry to move from the fifth row to the top spot, passing Ryan Millington for the lead, and he raced all the way to the checkered without much of a challenge.

Hickory Motor Speedway
JR Motorsports Photo

Mosack started the nightcap 13th and was able to roll the top lane forward over the first half of the race, only to have the right rear start to give up. Once it reached a certain point, the loose condition returned with a vengeance and Mosack was unable to keep moving forward. He eventually finished 13th, where he started. Painter was again second, with Millington third, Piercy and Heim rounding out the top five.

Next up for the JR Motorsports Late Model team is this coming Friday, when Mosack will compete at Ace Speedway in preparation for the resumption of CARS Tour action there on June 5.

Josh Berry, driver No. 88 All Things Automotive/iRacing Chevrolet team

“It definitely felt nice to finally get back to the race track. I thought at the end of practice we had a really good All Things Automotive/iRacing Chevrolet, but in the race it was better than I expected. We were able to make some adjustments in between races, and the car was even better in the second race. It just came down to being patient and being smart in traffic. Once we were able to get the lead, I just tried to manage the tires and bring it home.”

Connor Mosack, driver No. 8 Nic Tailor/Interstate Foam & Supply Chevrolet team

“Hickory is where I ran most of last year, so I had some higher hopes going into this weekend. I felt like before the race we had a fast car, but it seemed like there was an underlying issue with why we couldn’t fix how loose it was. I still think I could have qualified much better and that would have resulted in better finishes regardless, so I will take what I learned from that and apply it to our race next weekend.”

Track Specs: .363-mile oval / Twin 51-lap features
Berry’s Race 1 finish: 1st
Berry’s Race 2 finish: 1st
Mosack’s Race 1 finish: 13th
Mosack’s Race 2 finish: 13th

JR Motorsports | 5/18/2020