Stewart-Haas Racing Tabs Josh Berry for No. 4 Ford Mustang in 2024

Josh Berry, a standout in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series has been getting quite a workout in the sanction’s premier form of competition this year; the 32-year-old from Hendersonville, Tennessee has been called up to substitute for Hendrick Motorsports drivers who have either been sidelined by injuries or through penalties. The driver’s proficiency has netted him a full-season ride for 2024, albeit not with the group that’s availed itself of his talents in 2023.

Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) announced that Berry will take over the seat of its No. 4 Ford Mustang in 2024, after 23-year veteran Kevin Harvick exits full-time NASCAR Cup Series competition following the series finale November 5 at Phoenix Raceway.

Fully realizing the gravity of his new assignment Berry said, “I can’t imagine a better opportunity for me – to get in a car that’s been as successful and iconic as the No. 4,” he said. “Kevin is a future NASCAR Hall of Fame, and it’s going to be a challenge trying to come in after someone so successful. But I know I’m going to have an amazing group of people around me, led by Rodney Childers, to where we can hit the ground running.”

If there’s anyone that understands what it’s like to succeed a legend it’s Harvick, who took over Dale Earnhardt’s seat at Richard Childress Racing after the legend’s death at Daytona International Speedway in February of 2001. Harvick and Childers were paired in 2014 and produced the driver’s championship that year. They’ve combined for 37 points-paying victories since the start of the 2014 campaign.

“We’re incredibly proud to have Josh Berry begin the next chapter of his racing career in our No. 4 Ford Mustang,” noted team co-owner Tony Stewart. “Kevin Harvick has obviously set a very high bar, but Josh brings maturity, experience and, above all, a winning record to Stewart-Haas Racing. He is the right driver, at the right time, for the No. 4 team and our organization.”

Josh Berry's had success in NASCAR's Xfinity and Cup Series - Stewart-Haas Racing photo
Josh Berry’s had success in NASCAR’s Xfinity and Cup Series – Stewart-Haas Racing photo

Berry, a five-time NASCAR Xfinity Series race winner advanced to the series Championship 4 last year. His on-track success made him a go-to driver for Cup teams in need of interim assistance. As such, he’s already made 10 Cup Series starts, earning a second-place result on the Richmond Raceway short oval while subbing for injured Chase Elliott in early April of this year. “Josh Berry has shown how quickly he can adapt to the cars and the level of competition in the NASCAR Cup Series,” noted Greg Zipadelli, chief competition officer for SHR. “He’ll be a rookie in our race car next year, but he drives like a veteran.”

How did Josh Berry get to this point? He started in Legends Cars competition as a teenager, winning six championships. He’s also competed in iRacing and, during those sessions, caught the attention of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Earnhardt offered Berry a Late Model test that resulted in him joining JR Motorsports’ Late Model program in 2010. Berry delivered the goods, winning the 2017 CARS Late Model Stock Tour title and then the 2020 NASCAR Weekly Racing Series championship.

“I’m really proud of how I’ve gotten to this point and earned this opportunity,” Berry admitted. “I don’t like to use the word ‘luck’. It’s also been about preparation meeting opportunity. I wouldn’t change anything about how I got here. It made me who I am. Throughout my teenage years, it was a fight just to keep racing, to get to the next race. The timing of Dale and I getting together, that was crucial. If that doesn’t happen, I don’t know that I would have ever raced a stock car, or how much more I would have raced at all, just because racing overextended us financially. And when you race that way, it’s hard to set any kind of a long-term goal. But your goals just change as you grow. Even without knowing where it would ultimately take me, I’d do it all over again!”

Kevin Harvick, driver of Stewart-Haas Racing’s No. 4 Ford Mustang announced his retirement from NASCAR Cup Series competition after the 2023 season. He’s currently 12th in the season standings and without a victory to date in 2023. He has won at Nashville Superspeedway, where the Cup Series races this weekend, albeit in the Xfinity Series, where he saw victory in both 2006 and 2010.

About Anne Proffit 1224 Articles
Anne Proffit traces her love of racing - in particular drag racing - to her childhood days in Philadelphia, where Atco Dragway, Englishtown and Maple Grove Raceway were destinations just made for her. As a diversion, she was the first editor of IMSA’s Arrow newsletter, and now writes about and photographs sports cars, Indy cars, Formula 1, MotoGP, NASCAR, Formula Drift, Red Bull Global Rallycross - in addition to her first love of NHRA drag racing. A specialty is a particular admiration for the people that build and tune drag racing engines.

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