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Josh Berry "not necessarily panicked" over tough 2024 season

It’s been a rocky start to Josh Berry’s 2024 NASCAR Cup rookie season, but he remains hopeful there is plenty of time to turn it around.

Josh Berry, Stewart-Haas Racing, Overstock.com Ford Mustang

Berry faced plenty of change when he began the year – his first full-time Cup schedule, a new organization in Stewart-Haas Racing as well as Ford Performance’s introduction of its updated ‘Dark Horse’ Mustang into competition.

All of those – plus some mishaps on the track and pit road – have contributed to a disappointing start with SHR’s No. 4 team.

“We feel good about where we’re at,” said Berry, who has yet to register a top-10 finish this season. “We’ve been running better than we’ve been finishing. The data showed that for us, so we just have to keep plugging along and the results will come.”

There is plenty of evidence Berry can succeed at this level.

He won five races in three full-time seasons in the Xfinity Series and had some impressive results in Cup when he filled in as a substitute driver for Hendrick Motorsports in the 2023 season.

Berry, 33, scored a runner-up finish at Richmond in while substituting for Chase Elliott and a 10th at Dover while stepping in for Alex Bowman.

So far this year, Berry’s best results have come on the Cup Series’ short tracks at Bristol and Richmond, where he’s finished 12th and 11th, but remains mired 28th in the series standings. He’s also crashed out of races at Atlanta and Texas.

While no Ford drivers have yet to win this season, Berry doesn’t necessarily believe that has anything to do with the new updated car body introduced this season.

“I feel like when we’ve had our car driving like we want, we’ve had speed. We saw that at the short tracks, even at Texas,” Berry said. “We had an accident, but we were knocking on the door of getting up into the top 10.

“We had some races where we didn’t run quite like we wanted and we’ve had some races where we’ve been really fast and had a miserable day on pit road, so it’s a combination of everything.

“The reality of it is it’s just hard to win at this level. I don’t think, for me, I’m not necessarily panicked. I think that we’re going to continue to get better on the No. 4 team. I feel like if we keep doing the right things we’ll keep running better.”

Catching up to the competition 

In fact, last Sunday at Talladega, three Ford drivers – Noah Gragson, Michael McDowell and Brad Keselowski – had put themselves in position to fight for the win on the final lap but a bad block by McDowell on Keselowski allowed Toyota driver Tyler Reddick to escape with the win.

Berry said Ford officials continue to collect data on the car and engine’s performance and always looking for ways to improve.

“There are a lot of things that go into it that we know are areas we can improve on, and you keep doing that,” he said. “They just won the championship in all three divisions (last season) and everyone is waving the white flag and panicking.

“I think we’ll be fine. It’s just going to take a little time.”

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