Getty Images

Riley Herbst to compete part-time in Xfinity for Joe Gibbs Racing

Leave a comment

Riley Herbst will compete part-time for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Xfinity Series and the ARCA Racing Series this season, the team announced Wednesday.

Herbst, who turns 20 on Feb. 24, will be sponsored by Monster Energy in both series along with Advance Auto Parts and ORCA Coolers.

JGR had previously been sponsored by NOS Energy.

The Las Vegas native made his Xfinity debut in the June 2018 race at Iowa Speedway and finished sixth.

Herbst will make his first of eight Xfinity starts this season on April 12 at Richmond.

He will split time in the No. 18 Toyota with Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Jeffrey Earnhardt.

The team will be led by crew chief Ben Beshore, who previously served as a race engineer for JGR’s Cup program.

In ARCA, Herbst will share the No. 18 Toyota with Ty Gibbs, grandson of JGR owner Joe Gibbs. Herbst will make seven starts and Ty Gibbs will make 12 starts.

“To be a part of JGR the last few years has been a great opportunity for me and I’m excited to compete in both the Xfinity and ARCA series this year,” said Herbst in a press release. “The new Toyota Supra’s are pretty sweet and I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of one and take it around the track.

“We’ve got goals set for this year and it would be cool to get my first win this season and take the new Supra to victory lane. 2019 is going to be a fun year and I’m ready to get it started at Daytona in a few weeks.”

Herbst will be among the drivers taking part in this week’s two-day organizational test at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

 and on Facebook

Drivers gear up for important two-day test in Las Vegas

Getty Images
1 Comment

Las Vegas Motor Speedway will host a major two-day organizational test for Cup and Xfinity Series teams starting Thursday.

The test is significant because it will be the largest collection of teams to test the Cup Series’ 2019 rules package at the same time.

“We don’t know what we don’t know,” said Brad Keselowski, who will take part in the test, on how the new package will be on track. “You’ll figure it out.”

There will be 21 drivers involved, including 16 Cup drivers and two full-time Xfinity drivers, Noah Gragson and Chase Briscoe. Ross Chastain, David Ragan and Drew Herring each will drive manufacture wheel force cars. Xfinity drivers Zane Smith and Riley Herbst will also be present.

The test, which is open to the public, will be from 11 a.m.- 10 p.m. ET Thursday and from 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. ET Friday.

On Thursday, the first of three drafting practice sessions will begin at 2 p.m ET. The other two drafting practice sessions are scheduled for 6 and 8 p.m. ET.

Friday will feature two drafting practice sessions at Noon and 2 p.m. ET.

Here’s who is involved in the test.

Cup Series Drivers
No. 00 – Landon Cassill, Starcom Racing, Chevrolet
No. 1 – Kurt Busch, Chip Ganassi Racing, Chevrolet
No. 2 – Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford
No. 3 – Austin Dillon, Richard Childress Racing, Chevrolet
No. 6 – Ryan Newman, Roush Fenway Racing, Ford
No. 13 – Ty Dillon, Germain Racing, Chevrolet
No. 14 – Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford
No. 18 – Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota
No. 21 – Paul Menard, Wood Brothers Racing, Ford
No. 43 – Bubba Wallace, Richard Petty Motorsports, Chevrolet
No. 47 – Ryan Preece, JTG Racing, Chevrolet
No. 48 – Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet
No. 51 – Cody Ware, Rick Ware Racing, Chevrolet
No. 95 – Matt DiBenedetto, Leavine Family Racing, Toyota
Chevrolet Wheel Force car Ross Chastain, Chevrolet Racing
Ford Wheel Force car David Ragan, Ford Motor Company
Toyota Wheel Force car Drew Herring, Toyota Racing Development

Xfinity Series drivers
No. 8 Zane Smith, JR Motorsports, Chevrolet
No. 9 Noah Gragson, JR Motorsports, Chevrolet
No. 18 Riley Herbst, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota
No. 98 Chase Briscoe, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford

 

Grant Enfinger wins Truck race at Las Vegas

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Grant Enfinger survived three overtimes to win his second career race and lock himself into the second round of the playoffs. Enfinger took the lead on the final restart when Brett Moffitt ran out of fuel. Enfinger had fresher tires after gambling and taking no tires with 49 laps remaining.

Enfinger entered the Las Vegas race last among the eight playoff contenders in the points after getting spun late in the Truck race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park and finishing 17th.

On the final lap Friday night, Enfinger held off Johnny Sauter.

Playoff contenders Justin Haley, Ben Rhodes and Matt Crafton rounded out the top five.

Haley was already locked into round two of the playoffs with his win in the opening playoff race.

Moffitt fell to 11th after his fuel problem.

Noah Gragson blew a left front tire with 25 to go after contact with Moffitt in traffic. Gragson was hit with a commitment line violation when the tire blew and lost two laps in the process. He made one of those laps up and finished 18th.

Stewart Friesen spun three times in the final stage of the race. He did substantial damage in the final spin and finished 17th.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Noah Gragson

STAGE 2 WINNER: Grant Enfinger

MORE: Click here for complete results.
MORE: Click here for points report

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Matt Crafton had to start at the rear of the field after making unapproved adjustments to his truck; he was in the top 10 within five green flag laps and maintained his track position…. Myatt Snider snapped a six-race streak of finishes outside the top 10 with a sixth. … Ross Chastain is attempting the tripleheader at Vegas. He got off to a strong start with a seventh in the Truck race. … Jennifer Jo Cobb scored her first top 15 in 90 attempts with a 12th. Her last top 15 before this was a 13th at Kansas in May 2014. This is Cobb’s second best career finish.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Tanner Thorson went high to avoid a loose Myatt Snider and got out of the groove on Lap 2. He pounded the outside wall and was the first driver out. … Bo LeMastus was running 28th on Lap 46 when he pancaked the right side of his truck. … Riley Herbst pushed into the wall late in Stage 2, cutting his tire with five to go in that segment. … Todd Gilliland and Jesse Little ran out of room trying to arc into Turn 1 on Lap 83; Gilliland got turned into the wall. … Stewart Friesen was battling for a top-five finish when he spun the first time; he hit the wall and did significant damage in his third spin on Lap 131.

QUOTE OF THE RACE: “We were supposed to be a few laps to the good. It shouldn’t have been an issue,” Brett Moffitt on if he had any concerns about fuel before running out on the final restart.

NOTABLE: Justin Haley and Grant Enfinger will advance to the second round with their wins in the first round. That leaves six drivers contending for the last four spots to advance to the second round.

WHAT’S NEXT: Talladega 250 at 1 p.m. ET on Oct. 13 on Fox.

Noah Gragson wins truck pole at Las Vegas

Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Noah Gragson posted a lap of 178.036 mph to grab the pole for tonight’s World of Westgate 200 Camping World Truck Series race at Las Vegas. It is his fifth pole of the season. The last time he led the field to green was on another 1.5-mile track (Kentucky) and he finished eighth in that race.

Gragson beat Stewart Friesen (176.811 mph) by more than two-tenths of a second.

Grant Enfinger (176.540), Chris Eggleston (176.240) Riley Herbst (176.056) rounded out the top five.

Points leader Johnny Sauter qualified sixth.

Tate Fogleman, JJ Yeley and Norm Benning failed to qualify. 

Click here for the complete lineup

Justin Haley wins first Truck race at Gateway

Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Justin Haley won his first career Camping World Truck Series in a three-lap shootout at the end of the Eaton 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park.

With seven laps remaining, then-leader Noah Gragson took the bottom line on a restart. That lined Todd Gilliland up behind Haley and proved to be the difference for both drivers on the front row. Gilliland pushed Haley hard into turn one, but contact between Gragson and Gilliland allowed Haley to gain the advantage.

A quick caution for debris forced Haley to survive one more restart – this time with Johnny Sauter lined up beside him. In a three-lap shootout to the end, Haley held onto the top spot.

Gilliland got around Sauter for second. Sauter finished third.

Myatt Snider finished fourth with Zane Smith rounding out the top five in his first career Truck start.

The race was red flagged on lap 119 to clean up fluid from John Hunter Nemechek. He ran over a piece of debris that punctured an oil line. Justin Fontaine spun in the oil with Tate Fogleman sliding in as well.

The incident had lasting ramifications. On lap 132, Brett Moffitt and Ben Rhodes were battling for fifth. Neither driver wanted to go high into turn one because of the speedy dry. Rhodes crowded Moffitt and both made contact with the wall. Rhodes stayed on track. Moffitt pitted, but was able to climb back into contention for a top 10.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Grant Enfinger

STAGE 2 WINNER: Christian Eckes

HOW JUSTIN HALEY WON: Haley lined up in the outside groove with seven laps to go and got a bump from Todd Gilliland that pushed him to the lead. From there, it was simply a matter of surviving one more restart with the veteran Johnny Sauter lined up to his inside as Haley led the final laps.

WHO HAD A GOOD NIGHT: In his Truck debut, Riley Herbst scored a top-10 finish in eighth. … Jesse Little finished seventh, which was his fourth top-10 finish in the last five races. … In just his third Truck start and first since 2015, Chad Finley managed to stay out of trouble and finished a career-best sixth.

WHO HAD A BAD NIGHT: Dalton Sargeant cut a left front tire and pounded the wall with two laps remaining in stage one after contact from Todd Gilliland. … Matt Crafton developed an alternator issue at the end of stage two; they changed a battery and resumed racing, four laps off the pace. … On lap 76, Stewart Friesen got loose underneath Christian Eckes and spun him into the wall. … Battling for sixth on lap 98, Friesen and Johnny Sauter made contact on exiting turn two and Friesen spun into the inside wall. … Grant Enfinger started on the pole, led every lap of the first stage, but cut a tire in the closing laps and finished seven laps off the pace in 21st.

NOTABLE: It was a difficult night for Young Guns. In his second career Truck start, 17-year-old Eckes was wrecked during segment two after contact with Friesen. Making his first start in the Tuck series, 18-year-old Fogleman was collected in an accident triggered by Nemechek’s blown engine.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: “We had to change the battery. The alternator’s done. I don’t know; they’re still trying to science it out I guess. You know, it’s a big cost for something we spend a lot of money on – and there’s just no excuse for it. Our day is pretty much over. We’ll use it as a test, go to Chicago and try to kick their ass there.” – Matt Crafton’s crew chief Junior Joiner after an electrical problem plagued them at the end of stage two.

WHAT’S NEXT: Overton’s 225 at Chicagoland Speedway at 9 p.m. ET on June 29 on FS1.