Race Winner: Jeb Burton of Kaulig Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Justin Haley of Kaulig Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Noah Gragson of JR Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Riley Herbst finished fourth in the rain-shortened Ag-Pro 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race Saturday at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. The driver of the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing started 19th and seemingly fought alone amongst the 39 other drivers in the race. But when the yellow caution flag waved on lap 77 for a single-car spin, Herbst was finally where he wanted to be. The 22-year-old racer had his Monster Energy Ford firmly in the top-10 and, more importantly, in close proximity to fellow Ford drivers Austin Cindric and Ryan Sieg. This trio worked together to race their way to the front, controlling the top lane around the 2.66-mile oval until lap 86 when the caution came out for the final time. Rain that had been circling the track finally closed in, bringing the race to an early end on lap 90, 23 laps short of its scheduled 113-lap distance. Cindric finished second to first-time winner Jeb Burton while Sieg finished right behind Herbst in fifth. Herbst’s fourth-place drive was his second top-five of the season and it equaled his best result so far this year as Herbst finished fourth on March 13 at Phoenix Raceway. It was also Herbst’s best finish at Talladega in his three career Xfinity Series starts at the eastern Alabama track.
Riley Herbst, driver of the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“It was kind of hectic. We only have a few teammates. I honestly have no teammates, so just working with the manufacturer, Ford, but we couldn’t find them for the whole day and then, finally, there at the last five or six laps we found them – the No. 39 and the No. 22. It kind of sucks that we couldn’t race for a win there, but with our last couple of finishes I’m kind of happy with a fourth-place finish. It’s bittersweet, but thank you to Monster Energy, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Performance. We’re looking forward to Darlington.”
● Jeb Burton won the Ag-Pro 300 to score his first career victory in 51 NASCAR Xfinity Series starts.
● There were four caution periods for a total of 15 laps.
● Thirty-two of the 40 drivers finished on the lead lap.
● Austin Cindric remains the championship leader after Talladega with a 59-point advantage over second-place Daniel Hemric.
The next event on the Xfinity Series schedule is the Steakhouse Elite 200 on Saturday, May 8 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.