Phoenix NASCAR Xfinity Series Advance
No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing
NASCAR Xfinity Series Overview
• Event: United Rentals 200 (Round 4 of 33)
• Date: Saturday, March 12
• Location: Phoenix Raceway
• Layout: 1-mile oval
• Time/TV/Radio: 4:30 p.m. EST on FS1/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Riley Herbst Notes of Interest
• The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads into the third leg of its West Coast swing with the United Rentals 200 on Saturday at Phoenix Raceway. After kicking off the season at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, the stepping-stone division to the elite NASCAR Cup Series headed west with races at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, and Las Vegas Motor Speedway before rolling into Phoenix. Riley Herbst, driver of the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), has shown speed and strength at each race, with a fourth-place finish at Daytona, a ninth-place drive at Fontana, and a 14th-place effort last Saturday at Las Vegas, where Herbst rallied after getting collected in a late-race accident. The cumulative effect has Herbst a solid seventh in the championship standings with an average finish of ninth.
• After running a purple car last weekend at Las Vegas with Circa Sports as the primary partner of Herbst’s No. 98 Ford Mustang, the familiar green claw of Monster Energy is back on a flat black paint scheme for Herbst Saturday at Phoenix. Based in Corona, California, Monster Energy is the leading marketer of energy drinks and alternative beverages. Refusing to acknowledge the traditional, the company supports the scene and the sport. Monster Energy is a brand that believes in authenticity and the core of what its sports partnerships, athletes and musicians represent. More than a drink, it’s the way of life lived by athletes, sports, bands, believers and fans. Herbst has been a longtime Monster Energy ambassador, and following Saturday’s race, he’ll head over to the Gila River Arena in nearby Glendale, Arizona, to watch his fellow Monster Energy athletes competing in the Professional Bull Riders event.
• Saturday’s race will be Herbst’s sixth career Xfinity Series start at Phoenix. The 1-mile, desert oval has proven to be one of Herbst’s better tracks. After finishing 30th in his Xfinity Series debut at the track in November 2019, the 23-year-old has not finished worse than 11th in his last four starts at Phoenix. And in his two visits there last season, Herbst earned a pair of fourth-place results. Complementing his Xfinity Series outings at Phoenix is a 10th-place run in his lone NASCAR K&N Pro Series West start at the track in November 2019, and a 15th-place drive in his single NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start in November 2018.
• Herbst should feel right at home at the desert mile in Arizona. Being a third-generation racer from Las Vegas, he’s taking his family name from the deserts of the southwest to the asphalt tracks of NASCAR. Herbst began racing go-karts up and down the West Coast at age 5. He soon followed in his family’s footsteps in 2006 when he transitioned to off-road racing, where his grandfather Jerry, his dad Troy, and his uncles Tim and Ed, all became Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame inductees after their numerous championship-winning campaigns. But by age 10, Herbst sought a return to pavement, which began with Legends cars before transitioning to Speed Trucks, Super Late Models, the K&N Series, Trucks, and now, the Xfinity Series.
Riley Herbst, Driver of the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang
You’ve scored fourth-place finishes in the past two Xfinity Series races at Phoenix. Can those strong runs help you this weekend?
“Phoenix was definitely one of our best tracks last season and I’m excited to head back there. The car was great, but we also just ran strong races each time. Having a good track record there definitely builds some confidence heading into the weekend, but we still have to put in the work to keep the momentum rolling. Hopefully, we can put our No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang in victory lane on Saturday.”
You’ve been aligned with Monster Energy for your entire Xfinity Series career. What would it mean to get your first Xfinity Series win with them Saturday at Phoenix?
“I’ve been close to that first career win several times, and I know we have what it takes to win. Monster Energy has supported me for years, so to get them to victory lane would be the biggest ‘thank you’ that I could give them. I’m grateful for their support in my career and plan to get them to victory lane soon.”
Even after being involved in an accident last weekend at Las Vegas, you rallied to climb back into the top-15 and finish on the lead lap. You’re seventh in points and have a solid start to the season. Where does No. 98 Monster Energy team stand so far this year?
“Last year we had two DNFs to start the season and this year we’ve had three top-15s to start the season, so I think that’s huge. I really don’t want to be chasing points into the summer like we were last year. Hopefully, we can get a win this weekend, or any weekend, so we don’t have to chase any points. It’s huge to start the year off with some solid runs rather than two DNFs – way better position this year than last.”
No. 98 Monster Energy Team Roster
Primary Team Members:
Driver: Riley Herbst
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
Crew Chief: Richard Boswell
Hometown: Friendship, Maryland
Car Chief: Matt Noyce
Hometown: Oregon, Wisconsin
Engineer: Justin Bolton
Hometown: Latrobe, Pennsylvania
Engineer: DJ VanderLey
Hometown: Mobile, Alabama
Spotter: Tim Fedewa
Hometown: Holt, Michigan
Front Tire Changer: Shayne Pipala
Hometown: Frankfort Square, Illinois
Rear Tire Changer: Trevor White
Hometown: Arlington, Texas
Tire Carrier: Chad Emmons
Hometown: Tyler, Texas
Fueler: Corey Coppola
Hometown: Bluefield, West Virginia
Jackman: Brandon Banks
Hometown: High Point, North Carolina
Road Crew Members:
Truck Driver: Steve Wood
Hometown: Eatontown, New Jersey
Engine Tuner: Willie Pelotte
Hometown: Oakland, Maine