NASCAR: Why Josh Berry scored no points as Chase Elliott’s replacement

Josh Berry, Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR - Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Josh Berry, Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR - Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Despite a 29th place finish, Josh Berry did not score any NASCAR Cup Series points in his first relief appearance for Chase Elliott at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

After suffering a broken left tibia in a Colorado snowboarding accident, Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott missed his first NASCAR Cup Series race since becoming a full-time driver in 2016 this past Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Josh Berry, who competes full-time for JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series, filled in for him behind the wheel of the No. 9 Chevrolet in Sunday afternoon’s 271-lap race around the four-turn, 1.5-mile (2.414-kilometer) Las Vegas, Nevada. He finished in 29th place.

Because he did not compete, Elliott did not score any points and dropped from 14th to 24th place in the point standings.

Chase Elliott’s big drop was expected, since only three NASCAR Cup Series races have been run this year.

Berry didn’t score any points either. While a 29th place finish is usually worth eight points, Berry is unable to score Cup Series points since he competes full-time in the Xfinity Series and has declared for points in that series. Through three races, he sits in eighth in the standings with season-best finishes of fifth.

However, the No. 9 team still scored points in the owner standings in Sunday’s race. Berry’s 29th place finish did indeed score the team eight points in that category, even though Berry himself is ineligible to score.

Elliott scored 49 in the season’s first two races, so the team now has 57 points through three races. Unfortunately for them, they still fell five places in the owner standings on Sunday, dropping from 14th to 19th place.

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Elliott will likely fall out of the top 30 in the standings in this Sunday’s race at Phoenix Raceway. A replacement for him in this race, the United Rentals Work United 500, hasn’t yet been confirmed, but whoever that driver ends up being will have the chance to score points for the No. 9 team. Fox is set to broadcast the race live beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET, so start a free trial of FuboTV now!