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Las Vegas native Herbst scores first career NASCAR victory on home track

Riley Herbst Riley Herbst - The Canadian Press

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Riley Herbst scored the first NASCAR national series win of his career in dominating fashion at his home track.

Herbst led 103 of 201 laps Saturday to win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the home track for the third-generation racer. His grandfather, father and uncles are considered the first family of desert racing and inductees into the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame.

The family also owns a large chain of convenience stores and service stations dating to 1937.

Herbst, who is 24, has ventured beyond the desert into asphalt and has been plugging away in NASCAR since 2018. His Xfinity win Saturday was Herbst's first NASCAR national series win in 154 starts across the three series.

“Oh my goodness, you don't even know what this means, what this takes off my chest,” Herbst said. “I can't believe it. I love you, Las Vegas.”

He beat Xfinity Series championship leader John Hunter Nemechek by nearly 15 seconds.

Herbst is in his third full Xfinity season with Stewart-Haas Racing, and fourth overall in the series. Herbst started his career with 43 races driving for Joe Gibbs Racing. He has run four Cup races this year and his assistance late in the race at Talladega last month earned praise from winner Ryan Blaney.

He failed to make the playoffs this year, which Herbst said after Saturday's win was humiliating considering he drives for one of the top teams in the series.

“This year is such a failure to not make the playoffs and it's so embarrassing to be in a car like this that doesn't make the playoffs, and walk in the garage each week with your head down,” Herbst said. "I am so emotional, everyone here in Las Vegas, this is my home, this is where I was born and raised and so let's go party because we're going to celebrate tonight."

SHR teammate Cole Custer finished third as Ford went first and third. Chander Smith was fourth in a parade of Chevrolets that included Sam Mayer, Justin Allgaier, Austin Hill, Brandon Jones, Daniel Hemric and Layne Riggs closing out the top 10.


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