• It’ll be a blast from the past on Saturday as Riley Herbst pays homage to his team owner, Tony Stewart, in the Steakhouse Elite 200 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. The orange-and-white design of Stewart’s 1999 NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year ride will adorn Herbst’s No. 98 Henry Repeating Arms Ford Mustang from Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) during the Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR. The scheme ultimately yielded three wins, 12 top-fives and 21 top-10s during Stewart’s maiden Cup season. Herbst looks to tap into that lineage at Darlington by building off the strong fourth-place finish he earned in the Xfinity Series’ previous race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway
• The orange-and-white livery of Herbst’s No. 98 Ford Mustang does tie-in well to Stewart’s Home Depot-themed paint scheme from 1999, but the colors also fit Henry Repeating Arms, the primary partner of Herbst at Darlington. The 2021 NASCAR season marks Henry Repeating Arms’ third year with SHR, and the American manufacturer of classic rifles and shotguns that is a world leader in the lever-action category is also a loyal customer of Haas Automation, whose founder, Gene Haas, co-owns SHR with Stewart. With an array of Haas CNC equipment, Henry Repeating Arms makes more than 300,000 rifles and shotguns annually from its headquarters in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, and at its second manufacturing facility in Bayonne, New Jersey.
• Darlington has proven to be “Too Tough To Tame” for many drivers as they navigate its tight confines, but “The Lady In Black” took a liking to Herbst in his last visit to the 1.366-mile oval last September. The Las Vegas-native finished fourth in just his second career Darlington start.
• The Steakhouse Elite 200 will mark Herbst’s 52nd career Xfinity Series start. His resume includes six top-fives and 24 top-10s. His best finish is second, earned twice – in February 2020 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, and July 2020 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. At just 22 years of age, Herbst has both youth and history on his side – the average age of the past three Xfinity Series winners at Darlington is 23 and all three were Xfinity Series regulars.