Riley Herbst proved his resiliency with a seventh-place finish in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Watkins Glen 200 at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International. The Monster Energy driver started the 82-lap event sixth and stayed in the top-10 until he pitted during the closing laps of the Stage 1. After he resumed, contact with the No. 11 machine of Daniel Hemric sent Herbst spinning on the final lap of the stage. He was forced to pit during the stage break to change flat tires and restarted at the back of the field for Stage 2. The 23-year-old from Las Vegas went to work racing his way back to the front, and he finished the second stage 11th. In a bind with only one set of sticker tires left, crew chief Richard Boswell opted to keep Herbst on the track during the stage break, and he restarted eighth for the final stage. Herbst made his final scheduled pit stop on lap 57 during a round of green-flag stops, taking on fresh tires and fuel. He worked his way into the top-10 again by the time the caution flew with eight laps to go. After the race restarted with five laps to go, he moved his way to his finishing position of seventh, his 15th top-10 of the season and third in a row.
Riley Herbst, driver of the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I’m proud of this No. 98 Monster Energy team for being able to battle back from the spin in Stage 1. Luck wasn’t on our side, but we were able to overcome the odds and earn another top-10 finish. Ultimately, we want to win, but we just have to put all the pieces of the puzzle together. We’ll move on to Daytona.”
● Herbst earned his 15th top-10 of the season and his first top-10 in two career NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Watkins Glen.
● Herbst led once for four laps – his first laps led at Watkins Glen.
● This was Herbst’s third consecutive top-10. He finished sixth July 30 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and ninth Aug. 6 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.
● Herbst’s seventh-place finish bettered his previous best at Watkins Glen – 13th, earned last August.
● Kyle Larson won the Watkins Glen 200 to score his 13th career Xfinity Series victory, his first of the season and his first at Watkins Glen. His margin over second-place AJ Allmendinger was .273 of a second.
● There were eight caution periods for a total of 23 laps.
● Twenty-seven of the 38 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
● Allmendinger remains the championship leader after Watkins Glen with a 61-point advantage over second-place Ty Gibbs.
The next event on the NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule is the Wawa 250 on Friday, Aug. 26, at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by USA and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.