Berry Wires Replacements Series Opener At Kansas

Berry Wires Replacements
Josh Berry (73) crosses the finish line to win Tuesday night's The Replacements Series event at Kansas Speedway. (Seth Eggert photo)

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – One week after debuting to critical acclaim, Kevin Hamlin and T.J. Majors’ The Replacements concept returned to iRacing as a full-fledged, multi-week series, with a well-known name putting his stamp on victory lane.

JR Motorsports late model driver and three-time eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series winner Josh Berry took the win Tuesday night from the virtual Kansas Speedway, starting on the pole and leading from start to finish in a rout of the diverse field.

In a field that featured stars ranging from NASCAR to NHRA drag racing, Berry drove a picture-perfect race, using clean air to his advantage and easily taking his No. 73 iRacing/All Things Automotive Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 to victory lane at the 1.5-mile oval.

Berry took the checkered flag 1.196 seconds clear of Atlanta Replacements winner Josh Williams, with William Byron completing the podium in a race where the top three finished exactly where they started after 150 miles.

As for the rest of the grid, the going wasn’t as simple.

There were a number of incidents between different pairs of drivers before the halfway point of the 100-lap event.

The chaos included contact like a lap-25 incident between NHRA Funny Car driver Ron Capps and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series driver Ryan Truex.

None of the incidents triggered a caution however, until lap 36, when Hendrick Motorsports crew chief Chad Knaus had trouble entering turn one and fish-tailed his car across the track. He collected several cars with him, including Ross Chastain, Kyle Long, Tim Dugger, Justin Allgaier, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Capps again, officially ending Capps’ night.

When the dust cleared after that pileup, there was yet another yellow. Jordan Anderson took the bulk of the hit, with help from Chase Briscoe coming out of turn two.

Josh Berry (73) races ahead of Josh Williams (12) and Bubba Wallace Tuesday night at Kansas Speedway. (Seth Eggert photo)

Going back to green at lap 47, the battles stayed rather clean, leaving the top five clear of a battle of attrition for the race win.

Berry and Williams held the top two spots, all while Bubba Wallace, Parker Kligerman, and Byron fought to close the gap.

Berry showed no quarter on the rest of the field’s efforts from there, leading all 100 laps and leaving no doubt as to the fastest man in town on this particular night.

Behind he, Williams and Byron, Parker Kligerman and Bryan ‘Boris’ Cook finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

Bubba Wallace, Hamlin, Majors, Garrett Smithley and Todd Gilliland filled out the top 10.

The next Replacements race on April 7 will be run with the street stocks on the iRacing service. Despite being the rookie car for iRacers just beginning their oval careers, the street stocks will be able to take a greater beating and will put on a short-track style spectacle.

Tuesday night’s event was broadcast by iRacing in conjunction with Podium eSports, and a full replay of the broadcast can be found by clicking here.

The results:

1. Josh Berry, 2. Josh Williams, 3. William Byron, 4. Parker Kligerman, 5. Bryan Boris Cook, 6. Bubba Wallace, 7. Kevin Hamlin, 8. T.J. Majors, 9. Garrett Smithley, 10. Todd Gilliland, 11. Ben Rhodes, 12. Ross Chastain, 13. Jonathan Davis, 14. Tyler Overstreet, 15. Justin Allgaier, 16. Regan Smith, 17. Kevin Iannarelli, 18. Justin Haley, 19. A.J. McCarron, 20. Drew Herring, 21. Anthony Alfredo, 22. Kyle Long, 23. Chase Briscoe, 24. Rodney Childers, 25. Chad Knaus, 26. Ron Capps, 27. Ryan Truex, 28. Tim Dugger, 29. Harrison Burton, 30. Taylor Gray, 31. Coleman Pressley, 32. Jordan Erickson, 33. Tim Clauson, 34. Dale Earnhardt Jr., 35. Christian Eckes, 36. Ty Majeski.

Lead Changes: 0

Lap Leader(s): Josh Berry 1-100.

Laps Led: Josh Berry 100.

Caution Flags: Two for eight laps.

Margin of Victory: 1.196 seconds.

Average Speed: 150.292 mph.