Josh Berry gets 1st career Xfinity victory at Martinsville

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (AP) — Josh Berry passed Ty Gibbs with 28 laps to go and pulled away for his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory in a rain-delayed race at Martinsville Speedway.

Berry gave himself enough cushion after getting by Gibbs to withstand challenges by Noah Gragson and Daniel Hemric, who ran out of time trying to navigate lapped traffic.

Berry, making just his 13th career start spread over five seasons and eight years, became the second driver to gain his first win on the 0.526-mile oval, joining Brett Bodine (1985). Berry’s best prior finish was seventh earlier this year at Las Vegas.

“Oh my gosh. I have so many people I could thank I could be here ’til tomorrow morning,” Berry said after climbing from his car.

Gragson finished second and got a $100,000 consolation prize as the top finisher among four in the Dash for Cash. Hemric was third, followed by Gibbs and Brandon Jones.

Gragson also won the first stage of the race, which started Friday night and went 91 laps before it was halted by rain. Hemric won the second stage under sunny skies.

“I’m really happy for Josh,” Gragson said of his teammate, a 2020 Late Model champion. “I really look up to him. He’s like a big brother. You know, he’s a short track legend.”

Reigning series champion Austin Cindric finished sixth, followed by Harrison Burton, Justin Haley, Justin Allgaier and Michael Annett.

___

More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports