It has been a busy few days in the sports transactions for Las Vegas NASCAR drivers as it was announced Tuesday that Riley Herbst will drive full-time for Joe Gibbs Racing in the 2020 Xfinity Series.
The 20-year-old joins Kurt Busch, one of his Las Vegas’ auto racing forebearers, in finalizing racing plans for next season. Busch, 41, confirmed a multiyear contract extension with Chip Ganassi Racing during the NASCAR playoff race weekend in Texas.
“I’m very excited to compete full-time next season in the Xfinity Series in the iconic No. 18,” Herbst said in a statement about a car number made popular by fellow Las Vegan Kyle Busch at JGR. “I’ve enjoyed the transition to the Xfinity car this season, learned a ton, and look forward to continuing to learn next season and improve each and every week.”
Herbst finished seventh in his Xfinity Series debut for Gibbs in June 2018 and drove in eight races for the team this season, earning three top-10 finishes. He will drive the No. 18 Toyota in Phoenix on Saturday.
Monster Energy, ORCA Coolers and Terrible’s — a chain of gas and convenience stores founded by his family — will return as his primary sponsors, and Herbst will be eligible to compete for 2020 Xfinity Series Rookie of the Year honors.
“I’m eager to get started and have Monster Energy back with me and can’t wait for Daytona,” Herbst said.
The son of off-road racing star Troy Herbst was part of the JGR driver development program in 2017 when he mostly competed in the ARCA Series, scoring a win and six top-five finishes in 19 starts. He also has driven for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the NASCAR Truck Series.
Riley Herbst Xfinity Series record
— Team: Joe Gibbs Racing
— Starts: 9 (over two seasons)
— Best finish: 7th (Iowa 2018)
— Wins: 0
— Top tens: 4