Josh Berry has had quite the 2023 thus far. In 9 races so far in the Xfinity Series Season, he has 7 top-10s, 4 of which are top-5s and he currently sits in 5th in the regular season standings, besting all of his JRM teammates. It would not be a far jump to imagine that a win is forthcoming.
In addition to his quietly stellar start to the 2023 Xfinity Series season, he has made a number of starts in Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 9 NAPA car for an injured Chase Elliott and, with Alex Bowman being out for 3-4 weeks, he’ll be filling in for the No. 48 team as well. In the cup starts he has so far this season, he has 2 top-10s and a 2nd place finish at Richmond. Only time will tell as he gears up to help the No. 48 crew out this weekend if he’ll improve on his progress.
With all of that out of the way, as stated by The Daily Downforce over on Twitter, Josh Berry might already be spoken for in the 2024 Cup Series season. If this is true, where will he go? I have a few ideas and of course our DDF followers had their predictions. Here are the 5 most likely landing spots for Josh Berry in 2024.
JR Motorsports (No. 88)
Josh Berry is a long-seasoned driver for Dale Jr. and his JR Motorsports. The partnership between the two dates way back to the mid 2010s as Berry lit up the Late Model world driving the No. 88 for many years and even winning the NASCAR Weekly Series National Championship in 2020. Berry made off-and-on starts for JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Xfinity Series before going fulltime in 2022.
With his history with the boss-man, JRM would be the most logical landing spot for Berry in 2024…if Dale Jr. can acquire a sponsor and move his team to Cup.
Superboy5154 thinks RWR will ditch Ford and form an alliance with JRM to move the team to the Cup Series with Berry as the driver. Maybe that would be the extra nudge JR would need to make the move.
Spire Motorsports (No. 77)
Perhaps a more likely place for Josh Berry to call home in 2024 is Spire Motorsports. Spire has had a working relationship with the Dale Jr. owned Dirty Mo Media as they sponsored their No. 77 car at Darlington a number of years ago. They also work closely with Hendrick Motorsports as they field a part-time No. 7 truck in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for HMS drivers to make occasional one-off starts.
With their No. 77 Xfinity car being housed on the JRM campus, it is only logical for Berry and Spire to, at the very least, have talks. Ty Dillion who drives the No. 77 car currently in the NASCAR Cup Series has been struggling all year. Maybe Berry with his talents would be a good fit to move that mid-pack (at best) program forward.
Cody Williams (that’s me!) made this very prediction yesterday on Twitter.
Kaulig Racing (No. 13/16)
A little less likely would be for Berry to move over to Kaulig’s Cup program. He could drive a No. 13 to make that car go fulltime or he could take over for the Dinger in the No. 16.
With that being said, there’s not been much whisperings about AJ Almendinger retiring and I don’t think the team will move on from Justin Haley in the No. 31 so…maybe, maybe not.
Stewart-Haas Racing (No. 4)
Now we’re going to have a little bit of fun. Kevin Harvick is for sure retiring from NASCAR Cup Series competition following the 2023 season which means that his No. 4 Ford Mustang is up for grabs. With the 2024 status of Aric Almirola not currently known (though he did sign a 2-year deal) Tony Stewart and Gene Haas might have two big rides on the market for a new driver and a very small pool to choose from.
Cole Custer was demoted to the NASCAR Xfinity Series after a stretch of abysmal seasons in the No. 41 car. Team co-owner, Tony Stewart, said that he wanted Custer to prove himself before getting another shot at the big time. So far in 2023, Custer has 4 top-10s in 9 starts. That’s not that great.
So, will Smoke be willing to give him another shot in Cup based on those numbers? It’s doubtful.
Meanwhile, Custer’s teammate, Riley Herbst, has 6 top-10s in 9 starts, considerably better than his teammate, but he has still yet to win in his long Xfinity Series career. With these being the only two drivers in SHR’s developmental ranks, it would make perfect sense to poach a driver from another team and perhaps another manufacturer.
With Tony Stewart’s close friendship with Dale Earnhardt Jr., could Junebug convince ole Smoke to give his driver a shot in that No. 4? Hmm…
Aaron Rosser, an SHR fan, would certainly welcome a talent like Josh Berry to the team.
Joe Gibbs Racing (No. 18)
Last but not least, what about JGR? Gibbs could possibly have a seat open up as Martin Truex Jr. tends to toy with retirement every year now. What if this is the year he decides to step back from fulltime racing in the NASCAR Cup Series?
What if this is the year he leaves JGR to establish a part-time JRM team with his long-time friend and former roommate, Dale Earnhardt Jr. This would open up the door for Berry to slip into a newly renumber No. 18 team. Just think about it…
What do you think, Daily Downforce readers? Where do you think Josh Berry will go in 2024? Do you think he’s ready for Cup? Why or why not? Let us know!