Riley Herbst rolls into the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular-season finale Friday night at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway with a new look to his No. 98 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). The Las Vegas native welcomes a new partner from his hometown to his racing machine for the Food City 300 — Resorts World Las Vegas — adding a pop of color for the final race before the Xfinity Series playoffs begins next Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. Resorts World Las Vegas was developed by Genting Berhad, a publicly traded Malaysian corporation registered with the Nevada Gaming Commission. The facility features 3,506 guest rooms and suites, an innovative, next-generation gaming floor, world-class food and beverage options, a 5,000-capacity theatre, distinct nightlife venues, a curated retail collection of designer and boutique shops, and more. The integrated resort weaves time-honored traditions of the international Resorts World brand into the fabric of Las Vegas, introducing a bold, fresh take on hospitality to the city with stunning design, progressive technology and world-class guest service. For more information, visit www.rwlasvegas.com.
While the NASCAR Playoffs are built on a “win-and-you’re-in” mentality, Herbst has proven that consistency can also earn a driver a spot in the postseason. The 23-year-old racer arrives at Bristol locked into the Xfinity Series playoffs for the third year in a row. After last Saturday‘s penultimate round of the regular season at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Herbst tallied an insurmountable 108-point cushion above the top-12 cutoff. Growth and consistency have been key for Herbst in the first 25 races this season as he‘s recorded five top-five finishes and 15 top-10s. He has made the playoffs in each of his fulltime season in the Xfinity Series.
In last year‘s regular-season finale at Bristol, Herbst raced to a career-best Bristol finish of third. His tenacity, combined with savvy pit calls from crew chief Richard Boswell, put him in the lead for a lap-180 restart, during which he was shuffled back several spots. But Herbst kept his cool and, on the final restart, cars ahead of him scuffled, leaving gaps for him to advance his way up to third, passing Justin Allgaier off turn four on the final lap. He finished just behind the race‘s top protagonists, AJ Allmendinger and Austin Cindric, who made contact coming to the checkered flag and spun across the finish line.
The Food City 300 will mark Herbst‘s fourth career Xfinity Series start at Bristol. In his first start at the track in June 2020, Herbst led four laps and appeared headed for a top-10 finish until an accident took him out just 47 laps shy of the checkered flag. He bounced back in his second start at the track in September 2020 with a solid 10th-place effort before returning last September for a season-best third-place run. Herbst also has three Bristol starts outside of the Xfinity Series — two in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and one in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. His best of those outings was 10th, earned in his first K&N Pro Series start in 2016.
— Stewart-Haas Racing —