By Mike Davis, Co-Host, The Dale Jr. Download
Today we had a change of plans and for all the right reasons.
Our planned guest for The Dale Jr. Download this week was the great REDACTED, and believe me when I say we very much looked forward to it. [REDACTED] is one of the top innovators of our time, and we were eager to see if he would confess to some of his old tricks. Boy did he ever!
REDACTED told us all sorts of good stuff, not just from his time with - a - - - - a - - but also with P - - - - - r - - n - and, of course, T - - - - - - - - d - - - -. Truly amazing stuff. That episode will come in a few weeks. Heck, it may be two episodes. It feels like we celebrated a couple of birthdays while sitting at the table with him.
This week was all about Josh Berry. Actually, I take that back. It was about Dale Jr. and Josh Berry -- specifically Berry's win at Martinsville on Sunday in just his 13th NASCAR Xfinity Series start, and Dale Jr.'s attempt at contextualizing it. Turns out it wasn't easy.
As Dale stated Sunday night, he was moved to tears when Berry crossed the finish line to win. That itself made history considering Dale Jr. wouldn't cry if an onion sprouted in his retina. Today he admitted on the podcast to being confused by this outburst of emotion. Where did it come from? Why for Berry? Of all of JR Motorsports' 53 wins, why was Sunday's the one Dale Jr. struggled with?
I asked those questions, and Dale was able to string together an answer. I will tell you this -- it's complicated. If I didn't know any better, I'd say Dale is feeling as much pressure in these 12 races as Berry himself. How else can you explain the fact that Dale couldn't watch the final 20 laps on Sunday? He said on the podcast today it was just too much.
I have my own opinions. I think there is an element of vindication because Dale has been a staunch Berry advocate for years, but there is no way that's the totality of it. There's more. Maybe it has something to do with Berry's life-changing event when he was 13 (we talk about this on the show). Maybe it's because Berry has elevated Dale's beloved late-model program to national prominence. Maybe it's because Berry has been as selfless as a person can be despite seasons of discouragement and reality checks. Maybe it's all of the above.
Whatever the reason, Josh Berry is now a NASCAR Xfinity Series winner, and he's an easy person to pull for in his six remaining races, which are Talladega, Darlington, Dover, Charlotte, Texas and Nashville. As of this writing those are the only NXS races available in the No. 8 Tire Pros / FilterTime / iRacing Chevrolet before Sam Mayer gets his promised turn, Miguel Paludo's road-course races not withstanding. If there are to be more opportunities for Berry, how well you click those links and support those companies could determine it. If you do it, tell them Josh Berry sent you.
The all-new episode of The Dale Jr. Download with special guest Josh Berry comes out tonight.
-- Dirty Mo --