By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
Joe Gibbs Racing’s NASCAR Xfinity Series 2020 program has been etched in stone as Riley Herbst will run the entire schedule, piloting the No. 18 Toyota Supra and compete for Sunoco NASCAR Rookie of the Year honors.
Tuesday’s announcement meant that Herbst will be teammates with fellow 2020 Rookie of the Year contender Harrison Burton, who will replace Christopher Bell, and veteran Brandon Jones.
Since making his series debut at Iowa last June, Herbst has shown promise in JGR’s equipment scoring four top-10 finishes with a sixth in his debut being his best to date.
Herbst said he’s excited to learn in 2020 and hope the best is yet to come when the season opener at Daytona International Speedway arrives in February.
“I’m very excited to compete full time next season in the Xfinity Series in the iconic No. 18,” Herbst said. “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. I’m eager to get started and have Monster Energy back with me and can’t wait for Daytona.”
Steve DeSouza, Executive Vice President of NXS and Development for JGR, commented that Herbst’s improvements is evident which he hopes will translates into wins and titles.
“Riley has been a part of Joe Gibbs Racing for three years through the ARCA program and now the Xfinity Series,” DeSouza said. “Each week Riley shows improvement and growth, whether it is in the Xfinity Series Supra, the ARCA Series Camry or even the Toyota Tundra’s at KBM. Riley continues to work hard on gaining experience and becoming more comfortable behind the wheel and I think next year will be no different as he competes full time for Rookie of the Year, race wins, and the Xfinity Series championship.”
Sponsorships such as Monster Energy, ORCA Coolers and Terrible’s will back Herbst’s efforts. However, a crew chief for Herbst’s No. 18 team will be announced at a later date.
For now, the Las Vegas native will be making his ninth Xfinity Series start at ISM Raceway as well as running the K&N Pro Series West finale for the returning Levin Racing, who’ve been absent since Douglas County in June.
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