Date: Feb. 14, 2020
Event: NextEra 250 (Race 1 of 23)
Series: NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoor Truck Series
Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (2.5-mile superspeedway)
Format: Three Segments; 20 laps/20 laps/60 laps
Start/Finish: 1st /12th (Running, completed 106 of 106 laps)
Winner: Grant Enfinger of ThorSport Racing (Ford)
Riley Herbst and the No. 51 Orca Coolers/Mobil 1 team won the third pole in a row for Kyle Busch Motorsports at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The young driver posted the second and 10th-fastest laps in two practices on Thursday. Friday afternoon, Herbst earned the pole for his first NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series start at the 2.5-mile oval in one round of single-vehicle qualifying.
Herbst took control on the start and led every lap of the first stage, with teammate Christian Eckes right on his bumper. During the second stage, the young driver finished fifth, and in the chaos of the final stage was caught up in a wreck, but was able to fight back to a 12th-place finish.
Stage One Recap:
- In one round of single-truck qualifying, Herbst earned the Cometic Gasket Pole Award with a lap of 49.544 seconds at 181.657 mph.
- After the start of the race was delayed briefly due to weather, Herbst quickly sprang to the lead with a push from teammate Christian Eckes.
- Herbst led every lap of the 20-lap first stage and picked up the stage win.
- Following the first stage, crew chief Danny Stockman brought Herbst to pit road for fuel only.
Stage Two Recap:
- Herbst restarted the second stage in sixth after several vehicles did not pit during the stage break.
- The Las Vegas-native finished the short 15-green flag-lap second stage in fifth.
- Following the second stage, Stockman and the No. 51 team put four fresh Goodyear tires on the Tundra and filled it full of Sunoco fuel.
Stage Three Recap:
- Herbst began the final stage in the 10th position.
- As the pack began to dice for position, the No. 51 dropped back in hopes of avoiding the inevitable wreck.
- On lap 67, Herbst was nearly collected in a multi-truck collision, but escaped with minimal damage.
- Stockman called him in to check the damage and top off with fuel.
- On the restart, Herbst climbed into the top-10 and he mounted a charge for the lead on the outside with four laps to go in the scheduled distance.
- Unfortunately his luck ran out, and he was caught in the final multi-vehicle wreck on lap 99.
- Stockman brought him to pit road to change four tires and Herbst restarted in 10th and charged back to the front on the outside during the overtime laps, but got stuck behind a slower vehicle and ultimately crossed the line in 12th.
Riley Herbst, driver of the No. 51 Orca Coolers/Mobil 1 Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports:
Talk about your night.
“We had a really good Mobil 1 Toyota Tundra. We led for the first stage, won the first stage, finished fifth in the second stage. We could go really wherever we wanted. We made a late-race charge and almost cleared for the lead and we got hooked in the left rear by inches. We came in and put four tires on it and drove all the way back up to the front again and we just got stalled out. Overall, it was a really fast Toyota Tundra prepared by KBM and it was really fun.”
NextEra 250 Recap:
- Grant Enfinger won the race, followed by Jordan Anderson, Codie Rohrbaugh, Derek Kraus and Natalie Decker.
- The race featured five cautions for 26 laps and 15 lead changes among seven drivers.
How Herbst’s KBM Teammates Fared:
Raphael Lessard, driver of the No. 4 Toyota Tundra, finished 20th
Christian Eckes, driver of the No. 18 Toyota Tundra, finished 22nd
NGROTS Owner Championship Standings:
The No. 51 Toyota Tundra is ranked third in NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series owner standings, 12 points behind the leader and with one playoff point.
Owner-driver Kyle Busch will be behind the wheel of the No. 51 next week at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway for the Strat 200. Live coverage of the Strat 200 begins Feb. 21 at 9:00 p.m. ET on FS1.