Riley Herbst will move to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2021 to chase the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship, multiple sources have confirmed to Frontstretch.
On Nov. 12, Joe Gibbs Racing — Herbst’s former team — announced it signed Daniel Hemric to drive the No. 18 Toyota in Xfinity, formerly driven by Herbst.
Linked to SHR for several weeks, the Las Vegas native will takeover the No. 98 car left vacant by Chase Briscoe as he moves to the Cup Series full time.
— Riley Herbst (@rileyherbst) November 12, 2020
Herbst is coming off a rookie season at JGR that saw him score four top-five and 17 top-10 finishes in 33 races. He earned a best finish of second on two occasions, first at Auto Club Speedway at the end of February and the first race of the Kentucky Speedway doubleheader in early July.
His season-long average finish of 16th was the lowest by a JGR regular since Brian Scott in 2012 (18.2).
The 21-year-old is taking over for a team that won nine times, the most for a single organization in 2020, and is coming off a Championship 4 appearance last weekend. Dating back to 2018, SHR has placed one car in the championship race since 2018.
On Oct. 20, Tony Stewart, co-owner of SHR said, “We’ve got a couple prospects that nothing is done yet to announce, but we’ll keep working on our end. We definitely plan to continue the Xfinity program. We obviously see the value in it as you see with the [Briscoe announcement], so we plan to continue down that path.”
Herbst is scheduled to be one of just two full-time Ford Performance drivers in Xfinity, as Austin Cindric will return to the series to defend his championship with Team Penske.