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Rumor Mill: Riley Herbst To 23XI Racing

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What’s Happening?

In the wake of Stewart-Haas Racing’s closure, Bob Pockrass quickly reported that 23XI Racing would purchase one of SHR’s four charters, meaning 23XI Racing needs a new driver. While speculation may immediately turn to the Toyota prospect pipeline, sources have told us that the SHR free agent to be, Riley Herbst, has emerged as a rumored candidate for the 23XI Racing seat.

  • 23XI Racing has been in the charter market since SHR’s first started shopping their charters. Now that a third charter for the team is available, it seems the time has come to strike.
  • Many would be surprised to learn that Riley Herbst could head to 23XI Racing. However, his performance and the funding he brings make him a viable candidate for this seat.
  • 23XI Racing is one of the most interesting race teams for fans, but fans are less optimistic about Herbst. Many view Herbst as a driver who got his ride due to funding rather than genuine ability.

Why Riley Herbst?

Herbst brings a lot of funding with him. Since he joined the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2018, Monster Energy has been Herbst’s most prominent sponsor. According to Racing Reference, in 154 career starts, Monster Energy has been Herbst’s primary sponsor in 145 (94.2%) of them. Monster Energy already has a relationship with 23XI Racing through Tyler Reddick.

However, this funding goes deeper than just Monster Energy. Herbst’s grandfather Jerry founded Terrible’s, formerly Terrible Herbst, a gas station/convenience store chain in Nevada. Members of the Herbst family are all executives, and sources indicate that Riley’s father, Troy, could be footing some of the bill for that extra 23XI Racing charter.

From a performance standpoint, Herbst, while not a spectacular driver, has been solid in his career. Twelve races into the season, he currently sits seventh in points, has made the Playoffs in two of the last three years, and won his first race last fall at Las Vegas.

He’s also shown some promise in six Cup Series starts on superspeedways. He has two top-10 qualifying efforts and two top-10 finishes, including a ninth-place effort at Talladega last fall where he led 10 laps. Monster Energy was the primary sponsor sponsor for Herbst in five of those six starts.

Many would be surprised at this potential move, as many would assume that one of Toyota’s hot prospects would get this ride. However, it seems Herbst could slot in before any of these prospects.

What are your thoughts? Keep following the Daily Downforce for the latest updates and all things NASCAR.

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