Despite a “Disappointing” Start to 2024, Berry Secures Bristol Front Row

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The 33-year-old native of Hendersonville, Tenn., has taken over Stewart-Haas Racing’s No. 4 Ford this season after the retirement of star Kevin Harvick and his subsequent transition to the Fox Sports NASCAR TV booth.

Berry’s journey through the first four races of the 2024 season has been challenging, with no starts better than 14th (Atlanta) and no finishes better than 20th (Las Vegas). The Las Vegas race remains the only one where Berry finished on the lead lap.

However, at Bristol on Saturday, Berry had the opportunity to demonstrate his talent on the series’ inaugural visit to a track shorter than a mile in length.

Reflecting on his season so far, Berry expressed, “It’s been a little bit disappointing. Even when I started this going back to last summer people asked me all the time what my expectations were, and I always said that I expected it to be hard and it is hard. Cup racing is hard.”

He further added, “So, with that side of it, I think each race we’ve had little-ish different things happen that maybe hurt our finish or not, but I feel like when we get everything put together and the car is handling like I want and we execute, we have speed, we make progress, we’re faster.”

Acknowledging areas for improvement, Berry noted, “For me, I made a couple of mistakes over the last few weeks. Spinning out in qualifying at Phoenix put us really far behind all these guys. Having a mistake like that puts you really far behind and makes your day look worse than it really is.”

Despite starting the practice session in 26th place, Berry’s No. 4 Ford demonstrated considerable speed during qualifying. He secured the fifth-fastest time in Group B during the first round and ultimately clinched the second position behind pole-winner Ryan Blaney in the final round, marking his best start of the year.

As a rookie, Berry emphasizes the importance of developing a strong relationship with his team. He believes that as this rapport progresses, performance will naturally improve.

“That’s where I feel like I need to grow a little bit. Last year (running a partial schedule), you’re on borrowed time for each race. We didn’t know which race they were coming back or not and we kind of just raced.”

He concluded optimistically, “This is an important time for all of us right now to learn each other and just do a little better job of that, and I think it’ll come with time.” Saturday’s strong performance serves as a promising start in the right direction.

Also read: Formula E Implements Manufacturers’ Trophy Concept: Enhancing Championship Dynamics for 2024


By Jayson O'Neil

Jayson is a car-o-holic, and you will often find him writing about cars & bikes here at DaxStreet. You can reach out to him at [email protected]

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