Monster Energy Racing: Riley Herbst Darlington NXS Advance

Stewart-Haas Racing

•  Riley Herbst comes into the Mahindra ROXOR 200 NASCAR Xfinity Series race Saturday at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway riding a wave of front-running consistency. The driver of the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing has finished among the top-10 in his last four races, giving Herbst a total of seven top-10 finishes in the 10 races run this season. Now in his third full year of Xfinity Series racing, it’s his best start to a season. He is currently ninth in the championship standings, bettering his 2020 standing after 10 races (11th) and his 2021 standing after 10 races (15th.) 

•  There’s no rest for the weary in NASCAR as the Xfinity Series goes from one tough track with a scary-sounding nickname to another challenging racetrack with a foreboding moniker. Last week, the Xfinity Series raced at Dover (Del.) Motor Speedway, better known as the “Monster Mile”. Now, it’s on to Darlington, the track known as “Too Tough To Tame”. Herbst muzzled the Monster Mile with a solid, ninth-place drive and he aims to tame Darlington with another level-headed performance on Saturday.

 •  The Mahindra ROXOR 200 will mark Herbst’s 87th career Xfinity Series start and his fifth at Darlington. His best finish on the 1.366-mile, egg-shaped oval is fourth in September 2020. That result is one of 12 top-fives and 41 top-10s Herbst has earned in his Xfinity Series career. His best Xfinity Series finish is second, earned twice – in February 2020 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, and July 2020 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. • 

 While still seeking his first Xfinity Series win, Herbst is driving for an Xfinity Series winner at Darlington. Stewart-Haas Racing owns two Xfinity Series victories at Darlington – August 2019 with Cole Custer and May 2020 with Chase Briscoe. 
Riley Herbst, Driver of the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang
 You’ve scored seven top-10s in the 10 races held this season and the team is currently on a four-race top-10 streak. What are your goals as the Xfinity Series heads into its summer stretch?“The goal is simple – we need to keep being consistent. The No. 98 Monster Energy team has been working hard and we’re getting better. I think if we can keep performing well in both qualifying and the race, we can put our Ford Mustang in victory lane. These past two weeks, we’ve had a glimpse of chances to win, and we need to keep having those. Our win is coming.”

 Darlington is known as the track “Too Tough To Tame”. What are your expectations for Saturday’s race?“Darlington’s such a cool, historic racetrack, but it’s tough. It’s been a bit of a wild card for me, but I did run well there back in 2020. I have never had practice at Darlington, so I feel like that didn’t help my situation prior to this year. Everything I learned was what I experienced during the races. The No. 98 team knows how to win there. Hoping we can get it done.” 

What have you done this year to help prepare for Darlington?“Darlington definitely wasn’t my best track last year. We struggled to find speed there and then got caught up in a wreck in September. Those situations didn’t produce the outcomes we were hoping for. I’ve been going to the simulator, working with the No. 98 team, and just re-watching footage to try and learn how to tackle this racetrack. Hopefully, all the hard work will pay off on Saturday.”

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