Race Weekend Central

NASCAR Mailbox: Why Didn’t Riley Herbst Push Hailie Deegan?

During the final lap of the NASCAR Xfinity Series race, Hailie Deegan was leading the middle line as Riley Herbst was behind the No. 15 car. Instead of pushing another Ford to the win, Herbt passed Deegan around the high line. Why didn’t Herbt push Deegan to the front?

Also, fans complained online about commercials as they seemed to happen at inopportune times. Why were there so many commercials this past weekend?

See also
Did You Notice?: The Death Of NASCAR's Single-Car Team?

Frontstretch‘s Jared Haas answers this week’s questions on NASCAR Mailbox on Frontstretch‘s YouTube channel.

About the author

Jared Haas joined the Frontstretch staff in May 2020. A graduate of Cedarville University in December 2019, Jared has been followed NASCAR since 2006.

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Herbst didn’t help Deegan cause she’s a woman. He could have gotten to the front with her and then passed her to win instead of hanging her out to dry.
Ford loyalty was thrown out the window.


She hasn’t proven she can finish a race. She finishes in the back half every week. Herbst is fighting for his career.
If she wasn’t a woman she wouldn’t even be afforded that opportunity.


Hailee Deegan is in her car because she brings sponsors, just like many other drivers in all 3 national NASCAR series including Riley Herbst. Her finishes so far are not that far off what should be expected of AM Racing- they are a mid-tier team that occasionally finishes top-10 with an experienced driver. The team probably would have closed up shop without her sponsorships.


I can’t discount misogyny playing a role, especially given the, “If she wasn’t a woman she wouldn’t be in that car,” attitude of certain people. But I can think of two legit reasons for Herbst not to follow Deegan. 1) She was in the back of the field most of the day and didn’t really prove she could keep pace with the fastest cars and 2) she has rookie stripes for a reason- her lack of experience means she might not know how to handle a push from a much faster car. Rookies don’t typically get the benefit of the doubt in such situations.


Riley Herbst would’ve still done that even if it were a different Ford teammate. This is a recurring theme throughout his career, and he needs to be less selfish. Deegan deserves better. You would think that you could count on one of the few manufacture teammates you actually have.


There are no teammates going for a win. Riley Herbst’s loyalty is to his team and his sponsors to get the best finish he can. He finished second. Trying to push a rookie in a slow car probably would not have improved on that.

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