NASCAR Xfinity Series Overview
• Event: Pocono Green 225 Recycled by J.P. Mascaro & Sons (Round 16 of 33)
• Date: Sunday, June 27
• Location: Pocono (Pa.) Raceway
• Layout: 2.5-mile triangle
• Time/TV/Radio: 12 p.m. ET on NBCSN/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Riley Herbst Notes of Interest
• A 10th-place finish in last Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway was music to the ears of Riley Herbst. The driver of the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing scored his fourth top-10 of the season in Music City, putting some wind in his sails as he heads to Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, site of this Sunday’s Pocono Green 225 Recycled by J.P. Mascaro & Sons.
• Pocono has been good to Herbst. Since 2017, the 22-year-old racer has made six starts at the 2.5-mile triangle – five in the ARCA Menards Series and one in the Xfinity Series – and he has always finished among the top-10. This stretch of front-running consistency was punctuated by a victory in Herbst’s first visit to Pocono in June 2017 when he won the ARCA Menards Series race in dominating fashion. He led a race-high 45 laps to take the victory by 1.735 seconds over runner-up Brandon Jones. In Herbst’s return to Pocono in August for his second ARCA race at the track, he finished second. Back-to-back fifth-place finishes were earned in ARCA’s two Pocono races in 2018, and in his last ARCA start at Pocono in May 2019, Herbst finished second after leading a race-high 68 laps. In his first Xfinity Series start at Pocono last June, Herbst drove from 24th in the 36-car field to secure a ninth-place finish.
• Sunday’s race will mark Herbst’s 59th career Xfinity Series start and his second at Pocono. He has earned six top-fives and 25 top-10s dating back to his first career start on June 17, 2018 at Iowa Speedway in Newton where Herbst finished an impressive sixth.
• Herbst drives for the team that has won the past two Xfinity Series races at Pocono. Stewart-Haas Racing won the 2019 race with Cole Custer and the 2020 race with Chase Briscoe. Both drivers are now competing in the NASCAR Cup Series, with Custer moving up in 2020 and Briscoe moving up this year. Custer was the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year and Briscoe is currently leading the rookie standings.
Riley Herbst, Driver of the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang
You have an ARCA win at Pocono and you’ve never finished outside the top-10 in all of your races there, and now you arrive at Pocono fresh off a top-10 finish last Saturday at Nashville. Does all of that give you a boost in confidence?
“We’re always trying to get better and I feel like that’s starting to happen. I love going to Pocono. I’ve had some success there in the ARCA Menards Series. In my first start ever at Pocono, I won. Hopefully, we can keep the momentum rolling from Nashville and produce another good result this weekend.”
This will only be your second Xfinity Series start at Pocono, but you have five starts in the ARCA Menards Series at the track. How do you feel heading into the weekend?
“I’m ready to get to Pocono. It’s been a great track for me in the past and I’m hoping it stays that way. We just have to keep our heads right and have confidence as we go into the weekend. Our Monster Energy Ford Mustang is fast. If we can do what we have to do and stay out of trouble, then I think we can be up front competing for the win.”
Stewart-Haas Racing has won the past two Xfinity Series races at Pocono with Cole Custer and Chase Briscoe, respectively. Do you think you can make it three-for-three?
“I hope so. Luck just hasn’t been on our side this season, but hopefully Nashville was a turning point and we can keep our Ford Mustang up front at Pocono. SHR has been good there the past few years, and the No. 98 won this race last year. I also won there in the ARCA Menards Series back in 2017. We just have to put it all together this Sunday.”
No. 98 Monster Energy Team Roster
Primary Team Members:
Driver: Riley Herbst
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
Crew Chief: Richard Boswell
Hometown: Friendship, Maryland
Engineer: Justin Bolton
Hometown: Latrobe, Pennsylvania
Engineer: DJ VanderLey
Hometown: Mobile, Alabama
Spotter: Tim Fedewa
Hometown: Holt, Michigan
Front Tire Changer: Daniel Coffey
Hometown: Granite Falls, North Carolina
Rear Tire Changer: Chris Jackson
Hometown: Fort Mill, South Carolina
Tire Carrier: Jeremy Howard
Hometown: Delhart, Texas
Fueler: James Keener
Hometown: Fortuna, California
Jackman: Sean Cotten
Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina
Road Crew Members:
Truck Driver: Steve Wood
Hometown: Eatontown, New Jersey
Front End Mechanic: Mike Brill
Hometown: Woodsville, New Hampshire
Engine Tuner: Willie Pelotte
Hometown: Oakland, Maine
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!