On a race weekend that honors motorsports legends, Riley Herbst and Monster Energy will pay tribute to the late Ken Block, whose skill as a rallycross driver and stuntman is known globally thanks to his Gymkhana series of YouTube videos that brought car culture to the mainstream.
In the Shriners Children’s 200 NASCAR Xfinity Series race Saturday at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway as part of the Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR, Herbst’s No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang will emulate the Gymkhana 3 “Drip” car Block made famous.
The iconic matte black body and green Monster Energy claw of Herbst’s No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang will be replaced with a pop of white to mimic paint dripping down the side of the car. Furthering the connection, Herbst’s paint scheme was designed by Marcus Jurgensen, the originator of the scheme Block ran in 2010.
“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.”
Block’s legacy made an impact on all of motorsports and is a testament to chasing dreams. In the beginning, Block was an entrepreneur. As the owner of DC Shoes, he supported some of the top athletes in the BMX and skateboarding world. After selling his successful company in 2004, Block sought to become a superstar athlete in his own right. He shifted his attention to rally cars and found success there as a winner, all while turning the then lesser-known motorsport into a premier action sport.
Block won 23 races across multiple rally car series, earned several medals in the X Games, and created an entire empire from his dreams. In 2008, Block began to post his Gymkhana video series to YouTube. He received global recognition thanks to the billions of views his videos totaled. He earned millions of subscribers and created a successful new business, Hoonigan, a racing division and apparel empire that supported and extended his personal interests in motorsports.
“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.”
The tribute is more than skin deep. Herbst and Stewart-Haas Racing are releasing a line of merchandise associated with this paint scheme that will be for sale on SHR’s online store. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sales of the “Drip” hat and T-shirt will go to 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.
“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.”
Fans wanting to get their No. 98 Ken Block tribute gear can visit SHR’s online store at store.stewarthaasracing.com. 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.
The Shriners Children’s 200 begins at 1:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.