Riley Herbst overcame two spins in the inaugural Pit Boss 250 Saturday at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas, to finish 16th. The driver of the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing started the 46-lap race in 29th after a wet qualifying session had drivers tip-toeing around the 3.426-mile, 20-turn road course. By lap four, however, Herbst had cracked the top-20, and when another racecar stalled on the track, crew chief Richard Boswell quickly made the call to bring Herbst to pit road before the caution came out on lap 12. The savvy strategy propelled Herbst up to 11th to finish the first stage, and had him fifth for the start of the second stage. Unfortunately, a spin after contact with another car sent Herbst to the back of the pack for the remainder of the stage. After starting 23rd for the final stage, Herbst rallied back to 13th before contact with another car on lap 43 spun him once more. Herbst drove aggressively in the waning laps, but time ran out and he had to settle for 16th.
Riley Herbst, driver of the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Man, we had some speed in those final laps. We were close to breaking into the top-10 when we got spun out, and then it was hard to recover without a caution to bunch up the field. If there had been some more time, we could’ve made up some more spots.”
● Kyle Busch won the inaugural Pit Boss 250 to score his 98th career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory and his first of the season. His margin over second-place A.J. Allmendinger was 11.024 seconds.
● There were four caution periods for a total of seven laps.
● Twenty-nine of the 36 drivers in the Pit Boss 250 finished on the lead lap.
● Austin Cindric remains the championship leader after COTA with a 77-point advantage over second-place Harrison Burton.
The next event on the Xfinity Series schedule is the Alsco Uniforms 300 on Saturday, May 29 at the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.