Date: Oct. 12, 2019
Event: Sugarlands Shine (Race 20 of 23)
Series: NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series
Location: Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (2.66-mile tri-oval)
Format: Three Segments; 20 laps/20 laps/54 laps
Start/Finish: 7th/3rd (Running, completed 98 of 98 laps)
Winner: Spencer Boyd of Young’s Motorsports (Chevrolet)
At Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, Riley Herbst earned his first career NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series top-five finish in just his seventh start, and the fourth top-three finish in a row for the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Tundra. Since Bristol in August, four different drivers have earned second or third place finishes in the No. 51. On Friday, Herbst was 15th-fastest and fourth-fastest in two Gander Trucks practice sessions. On Saturday morning in one round of single vehicle qualifying, the No. 51 Monster Energy/Advance Auto Parts team earned the seventh starting spot.
In his first start at Talladega in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series, Herbst fell back momentarily as he got used to pack racing in the Truck Series. Once he got the hang of it, he was quiet on the radio for most of the event, continuing to run near the front of the field. In the closing laps, while battling for the lead, the No. 51 was forced below the “out-of-bounds” yellow line by the No. 13 who was eventually stripped of the win. Herbst was able to bring the No. 51 Monster Energy/Advance Auto Parts machine home in third.
Stage One Recap:
- Herbst qualified the No. 51 Monster Energy/Advance Auto Parts Tundra in the seventh position in one round of single-vehicle qualifying.
- The Las Vegas-native remained in the lead pack for the first stage, with crew chief Rudy Fugle bringing him to pit road for fuel only under caution on lap 10.
- Herbst finished the first stage in sixth.
- Fugle made the call to stay out after the conclusion of the first stage.
Stage Two Recap:
- Because he stayed out, Herbst began the second stage in the second position.
- The young driver spent most of the second stage in the top-five, but was shuffled back to the 11th position as the stage ended.
- Herbst reported that he had no handling issues with his Tundra and that it was a fast truck.
- Following the second stage, Fugle brought him to pit road for four fresh Goodyear tires and Sunoco fuel.
Stage Three Recap:
- Herbst began the final stage in 16th after making the four-tire stop.
- Under green flag conditions on lap 65, Fugle brought him to pit road for a scheduled pit stop for fuel only.
- The talented teenager was soon back in the top-five, where he remained through the late-race mayhem, challenging for the lead in the final laps before being forced below the yellow “out-of-bounds” line by Johnny Sauter, and ultimately relegated to a third-place finish.
- This was Herbst’s first top-five finish in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series in his seventh start, and the fourth top-three finish for the No. 51 team in the last four races, with four different drivers behind the wheel.
Riley Herbst, driver of the No. 51 Monster Energy/Advance Auto Parts Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports:
Could you have done anything diffrent when Johnny Sauter forced you below the yellow line?
“Yeah, I could have absolutely stayed in the throttle and wrecked the whole field. I didn’t think that was necessary though. Tony Hirschman (spotter) put me in a good spot. He gave me a huge run off of (Turn) 4 and I faked (Johnny) Sauter to the high side and he bought it. I went to the bottom and he drove me all the way to the grass. I’m glad NASCAR made the right call there. I’m bummed that he did drive me in the grass because I feel like we could’ve ended up in victory lane for sure. All in all, it was a good day in the 51 Tundra. I’m happy with the result.”
Sugarlands Shine 250 Recap:
- Spencer Boyd won the race with Todd Gilliland, Riley Herbst, Brett Moffitt and Stewart Friesen rounding out the top-five finishers.
- The race featured seven cautions for 29 laps and 24 lead changes among 15 drivers.
How Herbst’s KBM Teammates Fared:
Todd Gilliland, driver of the No. 4 Toyota Tundra, finished second
Harrison Burton, driver of the No. 18 Toyota Tundra, finished 11th
Gander Trucks Owner Championship Standings:
The No. 51 team leaves the 20th race of the season ranked third in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Owner’s Playoff Standings. The No. 51 has earned six wins, 13 top-five finishes and 15 top-10 finishes in 2019, recording an average starting position of 8.4 and an average finish of 6.4.
Christian Eckes is scheduled to pilot the No. 51 Tundra at Martinsville Speedway when the Gander Trucks Series returns on Saturday, Oct. 26. Live coverage of the event begins at 1:30 p.m. EST on FS1.