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Berry, who competes fulltime for JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series, was tapped on Friday as a last-minute substitute driver for Chase Elliott at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Elliott suffered a broken left leg in a snowboarding accident Friday in Colorado and required surgery. He will require several weeks of recovery time.
Berry, 32, had made two previous starts in the Cup Series but had never driver the Next Gen car, which debuted in the series last year. His first laps in the No. 9 Chevrolet came in practice and qualifying on Saturday.
It was a difficult battle for Berry in the race as he tried to navigate through the field after starting 32nd.
Berry fell a lap down in the first stage, and with the first two stages going caution-free, he had few opportunities to earn any laps back.
He also hit the wall in the final stage at one point. He eventually finished 29th, two laps down from winner and Hendrick teammate William Byron.
“It was a lot of fun. Really, I thought the first half of the race went pretty well. We were really close, right on the edge of staying on the lead lap or not,” Berry said. “We just needed a couple more cautions to just give ourselves a better chance.
“The second half of the race, we had an issue going on with the throttle or something because every time I was letting off, it was hanging wide-open. I was just trying to nurse it home and keep it out of trouble.”
A learning experience
Berry did avoid any serious problems in the race as his teammates battled for the win up front with HMS cars eventually finishing 1-2-3.
Berry insisted he “learned a lot” from the experience.
“I think we definitely saw at times we were running some pretty good lap times,” he said. “Just struggled with dirty air; knowing where to put the car and how to do that.
“There’s a lot of learning to be done, but all-in-all, it was still a pretty good time.”
Asked to evaluate Berry’s performance, Hendrick president and general manager Jeff Andrews said, “Josh did an amazing job for us given the circumstances and given the fact he’s not ever been in one of these Next Gen cars before. Really happy with what he did for us today.”