WATCH: NASCAR Xfinity Driver Comes to the Pits in a Burning Car

Published 09/05/2021, 1:11 PM EDT
TALLADEGA, ALABAMA – OCTOBER 12: Riley Herbst, driver of the #51 Monster Energy/Advance Auto Parts Toyota, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series Sugarlands Shine 250 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 12, 2019 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)


During the Xfinity Series race at the Darlington Raceway, there was a scary crash. As it turned out, Riley Herbst got the shock of his life when he smashed into the rear of Tommy Joe Martins. Apparently, he was running comfortably before two cars swerved ahead of him.

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Martins suddenly slowed down with a technical issue, and while two cars managed to dodge the struggling car, Herbst was not so lucky and had no time to react. The #98 driver rear-ended the #44 driver and both of them spun. On the bright side, he was able to limp back to the pitlane and retire.

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However, the bad news was that the car’s hood was on fire, and the worst part was that he had no idea. This is mostly because the busted hood fell back onto the windshield and obscured his vision.

How did Riley Herbst perform until the incident?

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Admittedly, Herbst was having a reasonably decent race from seventh on the grid. Despite the fact that he reported a few handling issues, the #98 driver managed himself well. That all lasted until the accident ended his and the team’s day early, dropping Herbst down to 38th place.

BRISTOL, TN – APRIL 15: Riley Herbst, driver of the #19 NOS Energy Drink Toyota, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East PittLite 125 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 14, 2016 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)

It is worth mentioning that Riley Herbst ran in the top-10 for most of Stage 1. Sadly, his car got loose and he got bundled all the way back to 12th. Thanks to some clever strategic calls, he fought his way back up to seventh. Since then, he began to seesaw up and down the order, before finishing 11th in Stage 2.

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The bad news was that his day got a lot more complicated as more issues cropped up. This warranted more trips to pit road for tires, fuel, and adjustments. Riley Herbst restarted the final stage 29th and was a man on a mission. He clawed his back to the front, breaking into the top 20 by lap 106. Unfortunately, a lap later, an unsuspecting Herbst ploughed into the back of Martins’s #44.

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Dhruv George

11993 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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