Herbst Finishes Eighth at Indianapolis
Monster Energy Driver Rebounds from Incident to Score Seventh Top-10 of Season
Date: Aug. 14, 2021
Event: Indianapolis 150 at the Brickyard (Round 21 of 33)
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Location: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.439-mile, 14-turn road course)
Format: 62 laps, broken into three stages (20 laps/20 laps/22 laps)
Start/Finish: 6th / 8th (Running, completed 62 of 62 laps)
Point Standing: 11th (489 points, 407 out of first)
Race Winner: Austin Cindric of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Justin Haley of Kaulig Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: A.J. Allmendinger of Kaulig Racing (Chevrolet)
Riley Herbst and the No. 98 Monster Energy team rebounded from a mid-race incident to finish eighth in the Indianapolis 150 at the Brickyard. Herbst started sixth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race Saturday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and climbed to fourth after a lap-five restart. An opportunity arose when the caution flag came out again on lap 17 – just five laps before the end of the stage. Crew chief Richard Boswell opted to keep Herbst out on the track when the leaders pitted, allowing Herbst to inherit the lead on the ensuing restart. With only two laps to go in the stage when the race went back green, Herbst was in contention for the stage win until being passed on the final lap by Justin Haley. But Herbst’s runner-up result in the stage earned him nine valuable bonus points. The No. 98 team pitted during the break for four tires and fuel before trouble came at the start of the second stage. Herbst was moving his way up through the field after restarting 21st when he was hit by another car that had gone off track. Herbst continued to pass cars despite damage to the left-front corner of his Monster Energy Ford Mustang, along with damage to the rear of his car. Herbst made it up to 12th before the lap-30 caution. The team pitted to fix the damage and restarted the race in 24th. Herbst continued to pass cars, and a strategy call to stay out again when the leaders pitted ended up in Herbst’s favor as the caution came out with two to go in the second stage. Herbst finished ninth in the penultimate stage to gain two bonus points. When the race restarted on lap 44, Herbst was 16th. He made quick work of the drivers in front of him, rising to 13th in three laps. In the final few tours around the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course, Herbst continued his drive toward the front, passing five more cars to earn his seventh top-10 of the season and gain enough points to put his name above the cutline in the NASCAR Xfinity Series playoffs standings.
Riley Herbst, driver of the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“It feels really good to be above the playoff cutline after the day we had at Indy. Our Monster Energy Ford Mustang was fast and it’s been that way all season. Glad we could showcase it at Indy and, hopefully, we’ll take that speed over to Michigan next weekend. These next few tracks have been good to us, so we just have to put the races together to get the success.”
● Herbst finished second in Stage 1 to earn nine bonus points and ninth in Stage 2 to earn an additional two bonus points.
● Austin Cindric won the Indianapolis 150 at the Brickyard to score his 13th career Xfinity Series victory, his series-leading fifth of the season and his first at Indianapolis. His margin over second-place A.J. Allmendinger was 2.108 seconds.
● There were five caution periods for a total of 15 laps.
● Twenty-three of the 36 drivers in the Indianapolis 150 at the Brickyard finished on the lead lap.
● Cindric remains the championship leader after Indianapolis with an 82-point advantage over second-place Allmendinger.
The next event on the Xfinity Series schedule is the New Holland 250 on Saturday, Aug. 21 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. The race starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.