Notes of Interest

● Josh Berry heads west to the Nevada Desert to take on the first true intermediate track on the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series schedule for Sunday’s Las Vegas 400. The 33-year-old Cup Series rookie is no stranger to speed at the 1.5-mile oval, hitting the jackpot and visiting victory lane twice in his six NASCAR Xfinity Series starts there. In September 2021, Berry started 15th, led 38 circuits, and took the checkered flag 4.398 seconds ahead of runner-up Justin Algaier. Berry’s second victory came in October 2021, when he started 12th, led 65 laps and beat now-Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) Cup Series teammate Noah Gragson by 1.125 seconds. Berry added a pole position in his most recent Xfinity Series start at the track last October, leading 11 laps on his way to an 11th-place finish. SHR’s Riley Herbst drove to his first career Xfinity Series victory in that race. In his six Xfinity Series starts at Las Vegas, Berry has earned four top-fives and five top-10s, and has led 116 total laps with an average finish of 5.0.

● This week, the No. 4 Ford Mustang Dark Horse will don the iconic colors of Mobil 1 and Take 5. Mobil 1 has partnered with Take 5 Oil Change®, the quick-lube service that features a unique drive-thru concept that allows customers to never leave the comfort of their car. Mobil 1 is available at Take 5 locations nationwide, and the expanded availability of Mobil 1’s range of products is being highlighted on Berry’s No. 4 Mobil 1/Take 5 Ford Mustang during the Las Vegas 400.

● The Mobil 1 branding on Berry’s No. 4 Ford Mustang goes more than skin deep as the world’s leading synthetic motor oil brand gives Berry an added advantage. Mobil 1 products are used throughout his racecar and they extend beyond just engine oil. Power steering fluid, transmission fluid, gear oil and driveline lubricants from Mobil 1 give Berry a technical advantage over his counterparts by reducing friction, heat and rolling resistance. Mobil 1 is a sponsor whose technology makes Berry’s No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang faster.

● Last Sunday, Berry showed poise and resiliency during the 400-mile superspeedway-style race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He started 14th and relied on new spotter Eddie D’Hondt to help him navigate the draft and the 1.5-mile oval’s unique configuration to make his way to the front of the field, evading several multicar incidents and fighting back from a two-lap deficit. Berry was closing in on the top-five in the sixth position in the closing laps when he was caught up in another multicar accident and was relegated to a 29th-place finish.

● Berry made 10 Cup Series starts in 2023 as a substitute driver – five for an injured Chase Elliott and three for an injured Alex Bowman at Hendrick Motorsports, then two in place of Gragson at Legacy Motor Club. The first of those 10 races came in the March race at Las Vegas, when Berry started 32nd and finished 29th.

● Berry’s crew chief Rodney Childers has been atop the pitbox for 23 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Las Vegas. He directed a pair of wins (March 2015 and 2018) by retired SHR driver Kevin Harvick. He also is credited with three pole positions, five top-five finishes, 10 top-10s and 622 laps led. Two of top-10s came over the past four Las Vegas races.

Josh Berry, Driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1/Take 5 Ford Mustang

Will Las Vegas be the first true test of where teams stack up in relation to one another?

“Las Vegas is the first race we have circled as a company to see where we stack up with all of the work Stewart-Haas has done on the new Ford Mustang Darkhorse. We are excited to get there and see how we shake out.”

You’ve driven the Chevrolet version of the NextGen car and now the new Ford Mustang Dark Horse. Can you tell a difference in the two body styles?

“I think it is still too early to tell the difference. I think once we get to some of the intermediate tracks, I may feel the difference. I was really happy with my No. 4 Ford Mustang Dark Horse at Daytona and again at Atlanta, which is always good. We will see after Las Vegas.”

You’ve won twice in the Xfinity Series at Las Vegas. Are there lessons you learned in those races that you can take and use this weekend when you race in the Cup Series?

“Obviously, I think any time you go somewhere you have had success before, it gives you a level of confidence that is higher than a track you haven’t done well at. Having a race under my belt in the NextGen car will also benefit me and ease the transition there. Ultimately, the cars are a lot different, and the racing is a lot different, so we will have to adapt to that, but it is always nice to go to a place you have won before.”

Since you’ve raced in the NextGen car and the Xfinity car at Las Vegas in the same weekend, can you talk about the difference in the level of competition between the two series?

“The Xfinity car just handles different than the NextGen Cup cars, and the competition is a lot tighter. You have the best of the best racing every weekend and that is something that is an adjustment. These guys are really good at what they do, and we all have a spot at NASCAR’s top series for a reason, so adjusting to that is also something that will take time to get used to.”