Monster Energy Racing: Riley Herbst Richmond NXS Advance

Stewart-Haas Racing

Riley Herbst Notes of Interest
 •  The Richmond 250 will mark Herbst’s fifth career NASCAR Xfinity Series start at Richmond. In his four previous Xfinity Series starts at the .75-mile oval, the driver of the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) has scored three top-10 finishes, with his best result coming in his most recent visit to the track – fifth in last September’s GoBowling 250. 

•  Pit strategy by crew chief Richard Boswell combined with Herbst’s savvy driving delivered that fifth-place finish. After starting 20th, Herbst worked his way up to 14th before the lap-35 competition caution. The No. 98 crew gained its driver six spots on pit road, placing him 10th for the start of the second stage. Herbst stayed in the top-10, moving up to eighth by the end of the stage. When the caution came out on lap 183, Boswell made the call to keep Herbst on the racetrack, betting on a late-race caution that would allow him to bring Herbst in after the leaders had pitted, thereby giving him fresher tires and more grip in the waning laps. The strategy proved successful. The caution flag flew on lap 224 and Herbst came down pit road to put on his final set of fresh tires. The leaders, meanwhile, had no new tires at their disposal. Herbst restarted in 10th and gained five positions in the final 26 laps. 

•  Saturday’s race at Richmond will mark Herbst’s 83rd career Xfinity Series start and his 13th on a short track. Herbst’s history on short tracks has been strong. After finishing an impressive sixth in his first career start in June 2018 at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Herbst has gone one to earn seven other top-10s, including in his last two short-track starts – third last September at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and 10th last October at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. 

•  A new associate partner has recently joined Herbst for the 2022 season. Baja Vida, a familiar name in off-road-racing, has aligned with Herbst and the No. 98 team as the “Official Beef Snack of the No. 98 Team”. Baja Vida Jerky passionately creates Baja-inspired products that support “The Flavor of Adventure.” The company’s focus is to connect others with the essence of Baja through delicious, quality food adventures and the vibrance of Mexican culture. Baja Vida Jerky made its first appearance with Herbst during last Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, by placing an on-board camera inside the Monster Energy Ford Mustang. 
Riley Herbst, Driver of the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang
 You have three top-10s so far this season and have finished on the lead lap in all but one race. Talk about your start to 2022.“I definitely think this is my strongest start. That was the goal that my crew chief, Richard Boswell, and I had for this year. We had some flashes of really good speed last year, but we weren’t consistent, by any means. Our biggest goal this year was to be consistent week in and week out. We knew that some weeks were going to be bad and some were going to be good, but we have to capitalize on the good weeks and try to finish every single race. It’s time to stock up on the top-10s and top-fives and, hopefully, the wins will come here shortly.”

 You’ve had strong runs at Richmond in the past. Is this a track where you have a good opportunity to get that coveted first win?“Man, I feel like every single weekend we have fast Ford Mustangs and can contend for wins. With that said, I really do enjoy going up to Richmond. Honestly, I just really enjoy short-track racing. That’s a nice, fun short track similar to some that most people like myself grew up racing on, so I’m excited to get back there and go for a win.”

 Talk about your sponsorship with Monster Energy and what it means to be one of their athletes.“Monster Energy want us to be who we are and that’s all about the brand. Just being a part of an organization that makes us feel like a family is all that I could really ask for and ever want from a sponsor. It’s so cool to be aligned with that brand and for people to know me as Riley Herbst, the Monster Energy driver, the driver of the black No. 98 Ford Mustang with the green claw on the hood. I love it.”

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