HOMESTEAD, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 20: Josh Berry, driver of the #8 Tire Pros Love The Drive Chevrolet, looks on after qualifying for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Contender Boats 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on October 20, 2023 in Homestead, Florida.
(Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

NASCAR Rookie Confident Despite Having Big Shoes to Fill

The 2024 season is about to kick off for NASCAR, and rookie driver Josh Berry will take the wheel of the No. 4 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing.

He has plenty to prove after spending most of the 2023 season subbing for other drivers at the Cup level, alongside driving for JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series.

Berry will have plenty of pressure on him this season being a rookie, but he will have far more pressure on his shoulders than the other rookies in the 2024 class because is replacing the legendary Kevin Harvick who retired at the end of last season.

That won't be an easy task as Harvick was the leader at Stewart-Haas and was the only driver on the team who made the playoffs in 2023.

Berry isn't coming in without showing he can compete at a high level in the Cup Series, because he subbed for Hendrick Motorsports' Chase Elliott last year and produced  his best career finish of second at Richmond Raceway.

Luckily in Berry's case, he will have the perfect crew chief in his ears every week. Rodney Childers is still one of the best crew chiefs in NASCAR, having won the 2014 Cup Championship with Harvick. He certainly will be key in helping Berry meet the challenges ahead.

Berry spoke with Bob Pockrass from Fox Sports, about the upcoming campaign, how similar his and Childers' mindsets are, and how having Childers atop his pit box gives him the confidence he needs to succeed.

"Rodney and I, I just feel like we gel really well," Berry said. "We have really similar backgrounds, obviously with the Late Model side of things. I'm just really excited to have him leading our team. I think he's just such a phenomenal crew chief and the success speaks for itself, so to have him on board my rookie season, definitely makes me feel confident."

Wins were scarce for Stewart-Haas in 2023, and of its line-up, Chase Briscoe is the only driver with a Cup win going into 2024.

Berry pairing with Childers gives him a real chance to be the Rookie of the Year at the end of the season, and it might even lead to a victory.

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