Berry wins All-Star Open, advances alongside Gibbs and Gragson

·2 min read

Josh Berry and Ty Gibbs raced into the NASCAR All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway as the top two finishers in Sunday evening’s All-Star Open.

Berry won the event by taking the lead from Gibbs with 23 laps to go. The Hendrick Motorsports driver had help when Michael McDowell ran Gibbs low off Turn 1, down the backstretch, and then onto the apron through Turns 3 and 4.

It was a bit of payback from McDowell, who was upset with how Gibbs raced him earlier in the event. Gibbs got underneath McDowell in Turn 3 with 43 laps go, which resulted in McDowell’s No. 34 Ford and Justin Haley colliding off Turn 4.

“Man, I feel so relieved,” Berry said. “These guys deserve to be in this race so bad. Thank you so much to Hendrick Motorsports for believing in me and giving me this opportunity under the circumstances. Ally, everybody back at Hendrick Motorsports and Chevrolet… Man, this is really cool.

“Our car was solid. We were definitely better on the second run. We got some help there. Whatever happened with the No. 34 (McDowell)…I don’t know what that was. That was pretty bad. But we were able to get the lead and stretch it out a little bit, kind of maintain it. I think the two best cars made it, so we’ll just see what tonight gives us.”


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The crash between McDowell and Haley was the third and final caution of the race.

A competition caution on lap 41 was the first yellow. Gibbs led every lap prior after starting from the pole.

The caution allowed teams to make their only pit stop of the day. Berry got off pit road first over Gibbs with help from the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team.

The second caution occurred on lap 50. Noah Gragson hit the inside wall going into Turn 1 and collected Chandler Smith, Todd Gilliland, and Ryan Newman when his car shot back across the racetrack.

Berry continued to lead until Gibbs retook the spot with 32 laps to go. The No. 54 Toyota was in control of the race until he came upon McDowell’s damaged and slower car.

The top five finishers were Berry, Gibbs, Aric Almirola, Ryan Preece and AJ Allmendinger. JJ Yeley finished sixth, Gragson was seventh in his damaged Chevrolet, Ty Dillon finished eighth, Corey LaJoie ninth and Josh Bilicki 10th.

Gragson was named the fan vote winner and also advances to the All-Star Race.


Story originally appeared on Racer