• Riley Herbst and Dover (Del.) International Speedway are an appropriate pair. Herbst is the driver of the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing and Dover is best known as the “Monster Mile”. At a track that can chew up and spit out even the most seasoned racers, Herbst has acquitted himself well on the concrete-clad, 1-mile oval. In three career NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Dover, Herbst has scored two top-10 finishes with a best result of sixth on Aug. 22, 2020.
• Herbst’s solid runs at the Monster Mile aren’t confined to the Xfinity Series. The Las Vegas native also has two starts at Dover in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. In the 2016 and 2017 races, he finished eighth and seventh, respectively.
• From one nickname to another: Herbst’s most recent Xfinity Series race came at the “Track Too Tough To Tame” and now he heads to the Monster Mile. Herbst endured a roller coaster of a race last Saturday at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, which the track living up to its nickname. Herbst struggled throughout the race with a tight racecar, but was making some gains toward the end of the second stage. Crew chief Richard Boswell made the call to bring Herbst to pit road early when the yellow caution flag waved on lap 84, and while Herbst had to line up 27th for the lap-88 restart, he quickly picked off enough competitors to finish the stage in sight of the top-10. But in the final stage, Herbst earned a Darlington stripe when he brushed its iconic red-and-white wall. This led to a cut right-front tire that required an unscheduled pit stop. While Boswell tried to make up the lost track position through pit strategy, the green-white-checkered finish delivered the crushing blow, as Herbst was caught up in a last-lap incident that relegated him to a 27th-place finish.
• The Dover 200 will mark Herbst’s 53rd 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 history on his side – the past six Xfinity Series winners at Dover were all series regulars and two of them came from Stewart-Haas Racing (Cole Custer in 2019 and Chase Briscoe in 2020).