Corey LaJoie out of Michigan Cup race for COVID-19 protocols; replaced by Josh Berry

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Josh Berry will drive in Sunday’s Cup race at Michigan International Speedway, racing for Spire Motorsports after COVID-19 protocols sidelined Corey LaJoie from the No. 7 Chevrolet.

Berry will be making his second start for Spire after making his Cup debut in the May 16 race at Dover International Speedway, finishing 30th in the No. 77 Chevrolet.

It already has been a busy week for the Hendersonville, Tennessee, native, who was announced Wednesday morning as a replacement for Michael Annett in Saturday’s Xfinity race at Michigan. Annett, who drives the No. 1 Chevy for JR Motorsports, will miss his fourth race this season while recovering from leg surgery.

Berry, who has driven Late Models for JRM the past decade, was named a day earlier as a full-time Xfinity driver with the team for the 2022 season. Running a partial schedule for JRM and Jordan Anderson this year, Berry has four top fives and nine top 10s in 16 starts, including his first career victory in Xfinity (April 11 at Martinsville Speedway).

He won the 2020 NASCAR Weekly Series national championship, earning his part-time shot at the Xfinity Series. He made seven Xfinity starts from 2014-17 as

“I’m just a local short track racer, so saying this is a dream come true seems like an understatement,” Berry said. “I’m so grateful to Dale, Kelley, L.W. [Miller] and everyone at JR Motorsports. They have always believed in me. This is the opportunity of a lifetime, and I’m ready and focused on 2022.”

Corey LaJoie, who tweeted about COVID-19 protocols keeping him out of Michigan, has one top 10 in 24 starts this season and is ranked 29th in points. He had started 97 consecutive races in Cup as a full-time driver since the 2019 season.

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Corey LaJoie out of Michigan Cup race for COVID-19 protocols; replaced by Josh Berry originally appeared on NBCSports.com