Monster Energy Racing: Riley Herbst Homestead NXS Advance

Riley Herbst Notes of Interest


•  Homestead-Miami Speedway hosts the third race of the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series season. Last June, the track held a doubleheader for the series after the COVID-19 pandemic put the season on hold for more than two months. This weekend marks Riley Herbst’s third Xfinity Series start at Homestead. His scored top-10 finishes in both races of last June’s doubleheader weekend.


•  Herbst will sport the familiar colors of Monster Energy once again this weekend. In last week’s race on the road course at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Herbst started 16th but didn’t stay there for long. He found himself in eighth by the end of the opening lap. While going for the Stage 1 win, he swerved to avoid a spinning car and was forced through the grass on the frontstretch. He still managed a third-place finish in the stage but was unable to continue due to the damage sustained during his run through the grass. He was credited with 38th place.


•  Herbst, whose 22nd birthday was Wednesday, has 45 Xfinity Series starts on a resume that includes four top-five finishes and 21 top-10s. He has his sights set on his first career Xfinity Series victory with youth and recent history on his side. Consider:

▬  He finished 10th and ninth, respectively, in the two races of last June’s doubleheader at Homestead.

▬  Only two of the past eight Homestead winners were over the age of 24.

▬ ​ The average age of the Xfinity Series winner at Homestead in the past six races is 22 years old.

▬ ​ Chase Briscoe won the most recent Xfinity Series race at Homestead in the No. 98 Ford.

▬ ​ In 2020 season, Herbst ear

ned six top-10s on 1.5-mile tracks – including a second-place finish at Kentucky Speeedway in Sparta on July 9. The No. 98 team won four races on 1.5-mile tracks in 2020. 


•  Meanwhile, Stewart-Haas Racing has won twice and has another two runner-up finishes in the Xfinity Series at Homestead. Cole Custer’s win in 2017 and Briscoe’s win in the second race of last year’s doubleheader, sandwiching runner-up finishes in 2018 and 2019 and a seventh-place finish in the first race of last year’s doubleheader.


Riley Herbst, Driver of the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang


What are your thoughts on Homestead?

“Homestead is fun. You’re running right against the wall. It’s kind of crazy how the first three races of the season are all in the state of Florida. I mean, Homestead is a cool mile-and-a-half track that’s kind of worn out, and you just have to be up on the fence. It’s a lot of fun to drive.”


You’re going from a superspeedway to a road course to an intermediate track. What have you learned from the first two races with your new team that you can carry over into this weekend?

“Well, we’ve learned that our car has speed. We just need to be there at the end of the race. There were some unfortunate circumstances that took us out of the first two races, but I’m looking forward to building on what we’ve learned. Hopefully, we can pull off a good finish at Homestead this weekend.”


You scored top-10 finishes in both races of last year’s doubleheader at Homestead, and now you’re in the No. 98 Ford Mustang that went to victory lane in the second race last year. How are you and the team preparing for Saturday’s race?

“Our team has prepared by just watching film and working together. I’ve been working with Richard (Boswell, crew chief) and the guys at the shop, as well as going to the simulator. We’re trying to get better.”


Given the solid runs both you and the No. 98 team have made at Homestead, how confident are you going into this weekend’s race?

“Honestly, I’m just excited to get down to Miami and hopefully try to pull together a full race with the No. 98 team. We’ll see what happens.”