Interview: Riley Herbst is on a mission

Riley Herbst is gearing as much as return to Stewart-Haas Racing’s No. 98 Monster Power Ford Mustang for his third season within the NASCAR Xfinity Collection this yr.

A member of Stewart-Haas Racing since 2021, Herbst has had a constant marketing campaign in 2022 with three high threes, eight high fives, and 20 high 10s — sufficient for a spot in qualifying and finally tenth in factors. Gaining expertise and confidence with each race he runs, Herbst has been pleased with 2022 and sees it as a powerful start line in 2023.

“We had a powerful 2022 season,” says Herbst. “We had a gaggle of high fives and a gaggle of high ten. This yr I can get to know my workforce mate Cole Custer. I actually suppose this can assist our program tremendously, and hopefully we will work collectively and find yourself in victory lane.

“I liked the 2022 season, however I did not. Clearly we wish to win. We wish to win every thing. Hopefully we will take that subsequent step this yr and get on the highway to victory and begin amassing trophies.

“We’re actually targeted on consistency as we go into 2023. Consistency is vital in the entire races, however particularly in NASCAR. Hopefully we will proceed to construct that consistency, and that consistency can take us even greater as that high three can flip into Wins and extra poles, extra laps led, extra stage factors and all that stuff. We’re simply making an attempt to take that subsequent step this yr and be higher than we have been final yr.”

Two those that Herbst believes have been of nice significance to him all through his tenure on the Xfinity collection are Kevin Harvick and SHR crew chief Richard Boswell.

“Clearly, with Kevin Harvick, 2023 can be his final yr,” says Herbst. “He is popping out large and it is nice to look at. He is my childhood hero, so it is nice to be within the trade whereas he is in his senior yr. I additionally signed with Kevin Harvick Included which he runs. He helped me get off the monitor in an enormous method. He factors me in the precise path.” And he provides me recommendation on and off the racetrack, which is so wonderful.

“Richard Boswell is a good man. He is a extremely good crew chief. He is a racer and loves going out on the racetrack. And the workforce itself is superb. It is the beginning of my third yr with them. It is nice. Stewart-Haas is a store filled with winners and racers, and so they do every thing they’ll to assist us on the workforce.” 98 and so they undoubtedly really feel at house.”

Crew boss Tony Stewart can be conserving an in depth eye on Herbst.

“Tony involves fairly a couple of races,” says Herbst. “Man, he is the racer of the racers. When he is not on the monitor with us, he is on the monitor along with his spouse, or at another race competing in a dust automotive. He is even performing some drag racing now. He is the very definition of a racer.”

The 2023 Xfinity Collection kicks off at Daytona on February 18th. It is historical past that Herbst says cannot come quickly sufficient.

“I am excited to go after it,” he says. “I do know we could be there ultimately. I consider with something in life and in racing, confidence is vital. Over the previous six to eight months I’ve felt more and more assured in my talents. I’m additionally very assured in my preparation and within the work I do “I actually belief my crew chief and my workforce. All of it means good issues, and hopefully it means victory lane quickly.”

“Daytona is considered one of our largest races of the yr, but it surely’s a wild race to say the least. We’ll be working intently with Cole in ’00 and hopefully we will work collectively and draft and be on high in relation to that. Cole and I are good associates. I’ve identified him for a short time and he has We have already began planning for Daytona and the way finest to assault that monitor, how you can work collectively and how you can assist the workforce usually.”

After the Daytona race opener, the Xfinity Collection will head to Auto Membership Speedway adopted by Phoenix Raceway on March twenty fifth.

“It is crucial,” Herbst says. “You must be constant for the primary 10 races after which you possibly can race after that as a result of the sphere is so shut collectively. All of those race tracks are a lot enjoyable and I really feel like we will be aggressive on each monitor.”

Forward of all that comes NASCAR Xfinity Collection testing, which is scheduled for January thirtieth in Charlotte.

“This is able to be day to observe and get some coaching and get your ft again in motorsport and get your head proper,” he says. “It is going to be good to instruct the brand new workforce members right here with the workforce, and I can make myself snug within the race automotive once more. It’s good that they gave us this check.”

Whereas the final word aim is to experience the trophy, Herbst’s fast precedence is to make some Xfinity-level wins.

“I might like to race within the Cup Collection and I might like to be a Cup Collection winner, however now I wish to win races within the Xfinity Collection and be the Champion after which we will speak in regards to the Cup Collection at a later time,” he says.

“We’re sticking to what we have to do to go and attempt to win these races and battle for the championship. We’re placing the puzzle collectively piece by piece, and it goes collectively rather well. Our spirits at Stewart-Haas Racing are actually good. We’re very keen to begin the season and we’ll attempt to win some “The races and competing for the championships. I really need him to win the primary race. It has to occur. Hopefully it is in our first race at Daytona. If not, we’ll maintain working onerous and we’ll pull it off.”

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