Date: June 27, 2021
Event: Pocono Green 225 Recycled by J.P. Mascaro & Sons (Round 16 of 33)
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Location: Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (2.5-mile triangle)
Format: 90 laps, broken into three stages (20 laps/20 laps/50 laps)
Start/Finish: 10th / 35th (Accident, completed 45 of 90 laps)
Point Standing: 15th (341 points, 339 out of first)
Race Winner: Austin Cindric of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Harrison Burton of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Ty Gibbs of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
A solid day for Riley Herbst and his No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang went up in smoke after a spin on lap 45 of Sunday’s Pocono Green 225 Recycled by J.P. Mascaro & Sons at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. The 22-year-old driver was forced to settle for a 35th-place finish after racing his way up into the top-five from the rear of the field. After being sent to the back due to unapproved adjustments at the start of the 90-lap race, Herbst quickly picked off the competition and made his way into the top-15 by lap 11. He was just two spots short of a top-10 finish in Stage 1. The No. 98 Monster Energy team pitted during the break and restarted 16th for Stage 2. In a strategy call on a lap-35 caution, crew chief Richard Boswell opted to keep his driver out on track with a handful of laps to go in the stage in an attempt to gain track position and earn stage points. This ultimately worked out for the team as it finished fifth in the second stage to earn six bonus points toward the playoffs. Herbst came down pit road under the final stage break for four fresh tires and fuel to put him on the offensive at the outset of Stage 3. He restarted 21st on lap 45. In a battle for position, Herbst got loose and spun in the Tunnel Turn. The damage sustained was too much for the No. 98 team to continue.
Riley Herbst, driver of the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Everybody’s on different tires and pit strategy. I felt like we had a decent Ford Mustang driving back up through the field. I cleared one of the backmarkers and he decided to drive it all the way back into my outside through the Tunnel Turn and I didn’t know he was there. I cleared him down Long Pond. It’s a frustrating day for sure and hurts us in points and everything. Hopefully, we can go get really good points at Road America next week.”
● Herbst finished fifth in Stage 2 to earn six bonus points.
● Austin Cindric won the Pocono Green 225 Recycled by J.P. Mascaro & Sons to earn his 12th career victory, his fourth of the season and his first at Pocono. His margin over second-place Ty Gibbs was .331 of a second.
● There were six caution periods for a total of 21 laps.
● Seventeen of the 40 drivers in the Pocono Green 225 Recycled by J.P. Mascaro & Sons finished on the lead lap.
● Austin Cindric remains the championship leader after Pocono with a 101-point advantage over second-place A.J. Allmendinger.
The next event on the Xfinity Series schedule is the Henry 180 on Saturday, July 3 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The race starts at 2:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!