Even though ‘Throwback Weekend’ at Darlington Raceway is usually dedicated to honoring the legends of NASCAR, Riley Herbst, and Stewart-Haas Racing have decided to take things in a different direction, with the cooperation of Monster Energy.
Herbst, who sits eighth in NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings for Stewart-Haas Racing, will carry the colors of the late Ken Block, whose skill as a rallycross driver and stuntman is globally recognized in large part because of his Gymkhana YouTube videos.
So, in Saturday’s Shriners Children’s 200 at Darlington Raceway, Herbst and the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang will emulate the paint scheme of the Gymkhana 3 “Drip” car that Block made famous.
The typical matte black displayed on Herbst’s Monster Energy-sponsored entry will be replaced with a burst of white, which mimics paint dripping down the side of the car. The vehicle also featured orange and green accents.
To make things even cooler, Marcus Jurdensen, the designer that created the Gymkhana 3 “Drip” paint scheme, was responsible for making the design come to live on board a NASCAR Xfinity Series car.
“I was a big fan of Ken Block’s infamous Monster Energy ‘Drip’ livery growing up,” Herbst said. “It’s such an honor to bring it back and run it at Darlington. I’m so appreciative of the Block family for letting me run this tribute. I chose this paint scheme specifically because I was such a huge Ken Block fan growing up. Back then, I wanted to be a rally-car driver just like him and be a part of the Hoonigan nation.”
The honoring of Block at Darlington is more than just a paint scheme, as Riley Herbst and Stewart-Haas Racing will be releasing a line of merchandise associated with the paint scheme. All proceeds from the sale of the “Drip” hat and t-shirt will go the 43 Institute Ken Block Foundation. The organization was created to carry on Block’s greatest legacy: creating paths of opportunity for the exceptionally driven who lack the proper support.
“Ken was such an inspiration to motorsports,” Herbst said. “It’s humbling to know that I’m able to have the same backing from Monster Energy that he had. Ken meant everything to people and to the fans. He was such a key to the innovation of racing and the innovation of the marketing of racing. He knew how to be somebody on social media and push media toward motorsports. He figured out how to make racing cool to young kids like me. There’s so much involvement that Ken had in and around racing that people don’t even realize.”
On January 2, 2023, Ken Block, known for his partnerships with Hoonigan and his YouTube videos bringing car culture to the mainstream, succumbed to injuries sustained in a snowmobiling accident. He was 55 years old at the time of his death.
“It’s an honor to run such an iconic paint scheme of Ken Block’s,” Herbst said. “I can’t thank the Block family and Monster Energy enough for letting me do this. We wanted to make this paint scheme more than just a paint scheme, so we are donating 100 percent of the proceeds from the merchandise we created for this to the 43 Institute to keep funding Ken’s legacy.”
For fans wanting to get No. 98 Ken Block tribute gear, you can visit Stewart-Haas Racing’s online store. There will also be select merchandise available on the team’s merchandise hauler at Darlington. Herbst will visit the merchandise hauler on Saturday at 11 a.m. ET to sign autographs with his SHR teammate, Cole Custer.