By: Ashley McCubbin
After Riley Herbst put together a solid campaign with four top-five’s and 17 top-10’s in 2020, it was a bit of a surprise to see he would be leaving Joe Gibbs Racing for Stewart-Haas Racing. However, so far, it seems the move was the right one.
“The culture is quite a bit different,” Herbst told NEWS FROM THE PITS. “Both are good cultures, they’re just different. I’m really liking and I’m really gelling with the new guys over at Stewart-Haas Racing. I feel like me and Richard (Boswell) have worked really well together these last couple of races, so I think things are going the right direction and, like I said, I’m just looking forward for a whole race to be put together from start to finish and I think we’ll have pretty good speed.”
The chemistry is beginning to shine through as despite having no practice each week, Herbst feels he is right there with his competitors.
“Last year was really overwhelming to go to places I’ve never been before without practice and try to go race there and by the time the end of the race rolled around or stage three I was just starting to figure out that racetrack and we were loaded up and headed to the next track next week,” he reflected. “This time around I’ve been to these racetracks before and I’m definitely more confident in myself and the equipment and everything which is coming this season, so I’m really looking forward to this season and I feel like it will definitely be better.”
While he has only scored a single top-15 in the first three races in 2021, he gets the chance to head to a track he’s seen success at before, scoring a pair of top-10’s in three races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“I feel like we’ve had speed there, but we haven’t really got the finishes that we wanted,” he admitted. “I like that mile-and-a-half. It’s always cool. It gives you a little bit more confidence running at home in front of friends and family, so hopefully it will pay off this weekend.”