Riley Herbst Lands Deal for 2023 Xfinity Series Season

Riley Herbst

Getty Riley Herbst has set his plans for the 2023 Xfinity Series season.

Stewart-Haas Racing has taken care of some business for the 2023 Xfinity Series season. The team has announced that Riley Herbst will return to the No. 98 Ford Mustang.

SHR announced the news on November 15 with a tweet. The team confirmed that Herbst will return to the No. 98 with Monster Energy as his anchor partner. The Las Vegas native will kick off his third season with the team at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2023, and he will pursue another playoff appearance.

Herbst did not reach Victory Lane in 2022, but he turned in a career year in the No. 98 Ford Mustang. He posted 20 top-10 finishes and eight top-fives while significantly improving his average finish to 13.0. Herbst also won the second Pole Award of his Xfinity Series career.

Herbst Has Improved Each Season in the Xfinity Series

Riley Herbst

GettyRiley Herbst turned in a career season in 2022.

Herbst has been a full-time driver in the Xfinity Series since 2020. He drove for Joe Gibbs Racing as a rookie and finished 12th in the championship standings after posting 17 top-10s and four top-fives.

Herbst moved over to Stewart-Haas Racing for the 2021 season, and he replaced Chase Briscoe in the No. 98 Ford Mustang. This first year with Ford Performance and SHR started with three crashes in the first four races, but Herbst began clicking off some consistent performances throughout the spring and into the summer.

He reached the playoffs after a solid regular season, and he had plans on contending for a spot in the championship four. However, his playoff run came to an early end after two crashes and a mechanical issue disrupted his first three races.

Herbst didn’t have as many top-10s in 2021, but he finished a career-high 11th in the championship standings. He then turned in a career season in 2022 before finishing 10th in the standings.

This Deal Could Have Ripple Effects

Riley Herbst

GettyRiley Herbst prepares for a race at Daytona International Speedway.

For a couple of reasons, there was a considerable amount of attention on the No. 98 Ford Mustang after the season ended. Herbst’s career year was one. Many people wondered whether he would get a third season to pursue a win. Another reason for the attention was a different member of the Ford Performance family.

Hailie Deegan, who also has Monster Energy as a primary partner, will not return to David Gilliland Racing as it partners with Toyota Racing and becomes TRICON Garage. She will remain a member of Ford Performance, and she will compete somewhere in 2023.

Mark Rushbrook, global director of Ford Performance Motorsports, confirmed this information after Deegan finished 13th in her Xfinity Series debut. However, he did not have any further details about where she would compete or the team that she would join.

SHR seemed to be a natural fit considering its prominent role with Ford Performance and Deegan’s past starts in the Tony Stewart-created Camping World SRX Series. Having Herbst rejoin SHR seemingly eliminates the Xfinity Series organization from the list of possible options.

Deegan’s future will continue to draw focus until she announces her plans for the 2023 season. Meanwhile, Herbst will prepare to take on his fourth full-time Xfinity Series season and his third with SHR.

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