Riley Herbst endured an up-and-down day in the Contender Boats 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The driver of the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang started 29th in the 179-lap race around the 1.5-mile oval and climbed to as high as fourth. In fact, that’s where he started the final stage, and the Las Vegas-native was poised to race with the leaders and potentially contend for the win. But on lap 99, Justin Allgaier came off turn two and pinched Herbst into the outside wall. This damaged the front end of the Monster Energy Ford, forcing a prolonged pit stop for repairs. Herbst restarted all the way back in 30th, but rallied his way into the top-15 by lap 109. “Tight, tight,” is how Herbst described his racecar, and as the laps ticked down toward the checkered flag, the damage to the Monster Energy Mustang was too pronounced to overcome. Herbst still finished 11th, one spot shy of going three-for-three in terms of top-10s at Homestead. Herbst finished 10th and ninth, respectively, in the two Xfinity Series races last year at Homestead during his rookie season.
Riley Herbst, driver of the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“The first two stages we were just biding time because we had to start so deep in the field. Then at the start of the final stage, we had good track position but the ‘7’ (Allgaier) just came across our nose and we got damage and had to go all the way back in the field again. We made our way back up to 11th. It kind of sucks, but we’ll go to Vegas now.”
● Herbst finished fourth in Stage 2 to earn seven bonus points.
● Myatt Snider won the Contender Boats 250 to score his first career Xfinity Series victory. His margin of victory over second-place Tyler Reddick was .085 of a second. (Note: Reddick was disqualified in post-race inspection.)
● There were eight caution periods for a total of 42 laps.
● Twenty-five of the 40 drivers in the Contender Boats 250 finished on the lead lap.
● Austin Cindric remains the championship leader after Homestead with a 28-point advantage over second-place Snider.
The next event on the Xfinity Series schedule is the Alsco Uniforms 300 on Saturday, March 6 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race starts at 4:30 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.