Date: May 8, 2021
Event: Steakhouse Elite 200 (Round 9 of 33)
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Location: Darlington (S.C.) Raceway (1.366-mile oval)
Format: 147 laps, broken into three stages (45 laps/45 laps/57 laps)
Start/Finish: 6th/27th (Running, completed 148 of 148 laps)
Point Standing: 14th (187 points, 201 out of first)
Note: The race ran one lap past its scheduled 147-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.
Race Winner: Justin Allgaier of JR Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Austin Cindric of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Harrison Burton of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Darlington (S.C.) Raceway lived up to its billing on Saturday in the Steakhouse Elite 200 NASCAR Xfinity Series race. The track “Too Tough To Tame” delivered a 27th-place finish to Riley Herbst, driver of the No. 98 Henry Repeating Arms Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing. 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 83, and while the Las Vegas-native had to line up 27th for the lap-87 restart, Herbst 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 forced them to come down pit road before it was open during the lap-126 caution. 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 negated any progress made in the closing laps.
Riley Herbst, driver of the No. 98 Henry Repeating Arms Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Just frustrating. We missed the setup a little bit and, at the end, I don’t know, everyone expects me to lift and I didn’t lift and we got wrecked off of (turn) two. It’s dumb when people have new tires and people have 60-lap tires. Things like that are going to happen.”
● Justin Allgaier won the Steakhouse Elite 200 to score his 16th career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory, his second of the season and his first at Darlington. His margin over second-place Josh Berry was .422 of a second.
● There were nine caution periods for a total of 43 laps.
● Twenty-seven of the 40 drivers in the Steakhouse Elite 200 finished on the lead lap.
● Austin Cindric remains the championship leader after Darlington with a 39-point advantage over second-place Daniel Hemric.
The next event on the Xfinity Series schedule is the Dover 200 on Saturday, May 15 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. The race starts at 1:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!