Riley Herbst will drive the No. 98 Xfinity ride for Stewart-Haas Racing in 2021, the team announced Thursday.
Monster Energy will sponsor the 21-year-old driver from Las Vegas in a majority of the races.
Herbst takes over the ride that Chase Briscoe won nine times with this past season. Briscoe is moving up to Cup with SHR in 2021.
Herbst will partner with Richard Boswell, who returns as the team’s crew chief.
“Being on a team with such a strong run of success is the kind of opportunity every driver wants,” Herbst said in a statement from the team. “Expectations are definitely high, but the highest expectations are the ones I’ve set for myself. I’m proud to be a part of Stewart-Haas Racing, and I can’t wait to climb into that No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang next year.”
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Herbst made the Xfinity playoffs this season with Joe Gibbs Racing as a rookie. He finished 12th in points, posting four top-five and 17 top-10 finishes. His best finish was second at Auto Club Speedway and in the first race at Kentucky Speedway.
“Riley has really just scratched the surface of his potential,” said Greg Zipadelli, vice president of competition, SHR, in a statement from the team. “He reminds us a lot of Cole Custer and Chase Briscoe – two drivers who came to SHR’s Xfinity Series program with plenty of potential who then realized that potential and, between the two of them, won a lot of races and are now in the NASCAR Cup Series.
“Riley has the talent to emulate what Cole and Chase did in our equipment and we’re going into 2021 with the expectation that we’ll celebrate his first Xfinity Series win together.”
“We built the Xfinity Series program to develop talent and ultimately win with that talent,” co-owner Tony Stewart said. “It’s a proven path to the NASCAR Cup Series, and we feel that Riley has the ability to win and grow within our race team.”
The NASCAR Xfinity season is scheduled to begin Feb. 13 at Daytona International Speedway.
The No. 98 @MonsterEnergy Ford Mustang has a nice ring to it. Welcome to the team, @RileyHerbst! pic.twitter.com/nSUcitg4Pz
— Stewart-Haas Racing (@StewartHaasRcng) December 10, 2020