Riley Herbst Michigan NXS Race Report

Herbst Scores Seventh at Michigan
Driver of Monster Energy Ford Mustang Earns Second Straight Top-10 Finish

Date: Aug. 21, 2021
Event: New Holland 250 (Round 22 of 33)
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Location: Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn (2-mile oval)
Format: 125 laps, broken into three stages (30 laps/30 laps/65 laps)
Start/Finish: 8th / 7th (Running, completed 139 of 139 laps)
Point Standing: 11th (520 points, 387 out of first)
Note: Race extended 14 laps past its scheduled 125-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.

Race Winner: AJ Allmendinger of Kaulig Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Austin Cindric of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: AJ Allmendinger of Kaulig Racing (Chevrolet)

Riley Herbst threaded his way through a multicar accident and three attempts at a green-white-checkered finish to come home seventh in the New Holland 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race Saturday at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. Herbst started eighth in the 40-car field and deftly kept his No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang under him during the first 15 tours around the 2-mile oval. “I am white-knuckling this thing,” said Herbst just after the competition caution waved on lap 15. Chassis adjustments called by crew chief Richard Boswell on the team’s ensuing pit stop and another set of adjustments during a subsequent stop under caution on lap 32 aided Herbst greatly. This was evident on lap 37 when Herbst smartly maneuvered his Monster Energy machine through a seven-car melee off turn two and down the backstretch. After lining up 12th for the lap-46 restart, Herbst cracked the top-10 and held the spot through the end of the second stage, earning a valuable bonus point. From there, Herbst was a top-10 mainstay. When the checkered flag waved after the third attempt at a green-white-checkered finish, Herbst was seventh. It was his eighth top-10 of the season and his second straight, as the 22-year-old from Las Vegas finished eighth last Saturday on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The solid run boosted Herbst’s playoff standing, too. While still holding onto the 12th and final playoff spot, Herbst increased his margin over 13th-place Michael Annett to 41 points.

Riley Herbst, driver of the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I just was trying to bide my time and race smart today with our points scenario. I think we expanded on that a little bit and gained into the guy in front of us. All in all, it was a good day. I wish we could’ve ran just a little bit better though and finished in the top-five.”

● AJ Allmendinger won the New Holland 250 to score his eighth career Xfinity Series victory, his third of the season and his first at Michigan. His margin over second-place Brandon Jones was .163 of a second.
● There were nine caution periods for a total of 43 laps.
● Only 14 of the 40 drivers in the New Holland 250 finished on the lead lap.
● Austin Cindric remains the championship leader after Michigan with a 35-point advantage over second-place Allmendinger.

Next Up:
The next event on the Xfinity Series schedule is the Wawa 250 on Friday, Aug. 27 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.