Stewart Haas Racing announced on Wednesday that NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Josh Berry will step up to full-time NASCAR Cup Series competition, taking over the No.4 Ford Mustang vacated by Kevin Harvick in 2024. Speaking about the news, team co-owner Tony Stewart spoke about the future of the team with the arrival of Berry saying:

Yeah, we’re obviously super excited to get to this moment today. There’s been a lot of talk, a lot of speculation and a lot of questions of ‘What are we going to do now that Kevin’s retiring?’ So, that leads us to today. I’ll be perfectly honest: This was not a big group of people that we had to make a choice from. We literally put all our eggs in one basket, and we put them on this kid to my left here with Josh Berry. He’s somebody that we all feel like he’s the right fit to step into the No. 4 car in the future, and we’re all super excited to have him at Stewart-Haas Racing. We just left the shop a minute ago. Everyone at the shop is extremely excited – we’re excited. To fill Kevin’s shoes is a hard task, and we all are very confident off of Josh’s merit and his maturity – everything he has done and all the positions he’s put himself in shows that he’s a smart race car driver, and that’s exactly what we’re looking for, for this No. 4 car.”

Josh Berry who is currently driving for JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and speaking about the news he commented saying:

Obviously, this is a really special day for me, and it’s special for a lot of people. First off, I have to thank everyone sitting up here with me for believing in me. Bringing me here to do this is such a special day. It’s been a fun process over the last couple of months, getting to know these guys and working with them. I can’t imagine a better opportunity for myself, to be full-time Cup racing with Stewart-Haas and headed for the No. 4 car. Our expectations are going to be simple: That’s just to keep working hard and keep doing the things this group has been doing for years… working hard, believing in each other. We think that if we do the right things and stay the course, that the results will come. It’s just a really special day for a lot of people in my life, and I’m excited to be here. In the meantime, these guys have a lot of racing left to do this year as well. I’m going to be excited to cheer on Kevin, Rodney and this whole group, as well as everybody at Stewart-Haas. Obviously on my side of things, I have a lot of racing to do myself with JR Motorsports. So, we’re ready to get going.”

Kevin Harvick commented on the news saying:

Well, I’m excited for everybody at this table. Honestly, I think as I look for people who can get in the car and fit with the group of people that I’ve been fortunate to race with for the last 10 years, is something that was important to me, and to make sure Rodney, Greg and Tony all had somebody that they were comfortable with fitting into the group. Because, it’s a special group of people. With the background Josh has and the background Rodney has… There are a lot of common denominators that really just make sense. I think I asked the question probably about a year ago if Josh was on that list, and I asked earlier this year – and here it is today, because I’d talked to Rodney about it a lot and in those conversations, Josh was always the name that he just never wavered on. So, for me, it was fun to watch it progress. This year has kind of been interesting because I’ve kind of tried to stand back and let these guys do more in working toward the future. To see it all come together makes me happy to know that everything is going to be in good hands.”

Chief Competition Officer with Stewart Haas Racing Greg Zipadelli commented saying:

Oh, it’s huge. I mean, Kevin is leaving really big shoes to fill – no pressure, Josh. Honestly, Kevin’s leadership over the last 10 years, his direction, has been instrumental to Stewart-Haas. I think we all thought that Josh has some of the same attributes within him. You look at his racing in the past, and where he’s come from. He’s always made himself successful in the right ways – racing hard, clean and like I said before, a lot of grit. I think he’s going to fit in with our group well. We’re all still a bunch of racers, and I think he fits right into our group in that way. I think Kevin mentions some of those things on how important it is that he fits in – just his philosophy in racing, I think it’s in. Hopefully that makes the learning curve and the pressure that he’ll have next year being full-time in Cup… I think it’ll make a lot of that easier for him.”

Rodney Childers, crew chief for the No.4 Ford Mustang for Stewart Haas Racing commented saying:

Ten years have flown by in a hurry. To have the relationship that I’ve had with Kevin the last 10 years, and to do the things that we’ve done, you look back on some of those special moments of winning the championship, winning races and going on streaks of finishing in the top-five 10 races in a row or top-twos for eight races in a row – stuff like that. That’s just something that’s unheard of. Our whole group has been part of that, and it’s just a special group from top to bottom – our shop guys, our pit crew, our road guys and just everybody involved. That part is extremely special to me. And then, it just goes to Josh. I think everybody knows that I’m a Josh Berry fan, and I really think that’s what some of this came down to. I told the shop guys at Stewart-Haas this morning that I wish they could all go back through his phone and count how many times that I text him saying if that guy could ever get the right opportunity, he’s going to show something. It’s just cool as crap today to see him up here with us, to be able to go racing with him and to have that same common goal. Also, I think everybody knows what relationships mean to me and what Kevin said, having someone that can fit in to that – someone that I can text 100 times a day like this guy beside me (Harvick), and he doesn’t care. I think having that relationship and the common background, common goals is really important.”


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