In the high-octane world of NASCAR, Riley Herbst has quickly become a name to remember. Making his debut in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series, Herbst showcased his tenacity and talent as he navigated the No. 15 Ford through a competitive field.
Despite a turbulent start at the 2023 Daytona 500, where he weathered a multi-car crash, Herbst skillfully clinched a top-ten finish. With this impressive achievement, he joined an exclusive set of drivers who’ve secured top-ten finishes in their debut races across the Cup, Xfinity, and Truck Series.
As the 2023 season progresses, Herbst’s impressive performances continue to validate his rising status in NASCAR. His story is an exhilarating blend of speed, strategy, and resilience that’s worth following. Want to know more? Keep reading as we dive deeper into the life and career of Riley Herbst, from his early days to his current NASCAR Cup Series journey. Hang on, and it’s going to be an exciting ride!
Born on a chilly February 24, 1999, in Las Vegas, Nevada, Riley Dederick Kern Herbst was perhaps always destined for a life on the fast lane. There was an uncanny sense of speed and adventure in his spirit that couldn’t be confined, much like the city he was born in. You see, the thing about Las Vegas is that it’s a city that never sleeps, always on the move, just like our boy Riley.
As an enthusiastic five-year-old, Riley was enraptured by the thrill of racing, not on foot, but in a tiny, zippy go-kart. Picture this: a small kid barely able to reach the pedals, gripping the wheel with fierce determination and an intense look of focus. That was Riley, and that’s where the seeds of his racing passion were first sown.
His young mind was immediately captivated by the sensation of speed, the roar of the engine, and the subtle art of maneuvering the kart around the course. That early taste of the adrenaline rush was more than enough to ignite a lifelong fascination with racing. At an age when most kids were just learning to ride a bike without training wheels, Riley was already dreaming of checkered flags and podium finishes.
And thus, his journey began, a journey fueled by his passion for speed. With every lap on that karting circuit, he was unknowingly preparing himself for a future amidst the deafening roars of stock car engines and the bright lights of NASCAR fame. Those early days behind the wheel of his go-kart weren’t just about having fun. They were the first stepping stones in the making of a professional racer.
Riley’s early dalliance with go-karts had planted a deep-seated love for speed and precision in him. As he grew older, so did his ambitions. He was like a sponge, soaking up every bit of knowledge and skill he could acquire about the sport he loved. He wasn’t just racing; he was studying the art of speed.
Moving on from the simplistic charm of go-karts, Riley found himself venturing into more challenging territory. He started exploring Legends, an arena of spec racing cars that are 5/8 scale replicas of American cars from the mid-1930s to the early 1940s. With these, he honed his racing skills, learning to handle a more powerful vehicle while competing against more experienced drivers. The ability to adapt and grow in this new environment was indicative of his innate talent.
Speed Trucks were next on his agenda. Larger, more intimidating, and demanding a whole different skill set, these beasts of machinery did not deter Riley. He embraced the challenge and thrived, demonstrating a level of control and understanding of the vehicle that belied his young age.
However, the journey didn’t stop there. It was the Super Late Models, a popular division in short track racing, that really began to set the stage for Riley’s promising future. These high-powered, slick-looking vehicles were where Riley truly began to make waves. He showcased a deft understanding of the vehicle’s dynamics, which, combined with his growing racing acumen, started turning heads in the local racing circuits.
Like an heirloom passed down through generations, racing was not just a passion but also a heritage for Riley Herbst. The racing gene ran deep in his veins. After all, his pedigree was steeped in off-road racing, a high-octane sport that’s as challenging as it is thrilling.
His father, Troy, was a seasoned racer whose reputation and skills were widely acknowledged. His grandfather, Jerry, and uncles, Ed and Tim, were strangers to the gritty world of off-road racing. Their shared love for this daredevil sport was a bond that brought them together, a legacy passed from one generation to the next, echoing the family’s motto: ‘Racing is in our blood.’
Imagine a young Riley looking up to these men, awed by their stories of victorious races and thrilling adventures. Their races were his bedtime stories, their victories his inspiration. As they wove tales of kicking up desert dust at the Baja 500 or the Baja 1000, one of the most challenging off-road races in the world, Riley’s dream to join their ranks grew stronger.
Racing, for the Herbst family, was more than a sport. It was an adrenaline-fueled passion that bridged generations. Riley inherited this passion and the rich experiences and invaluable wisdom of his family’s racing traditions. Immersing himself in the exciting world of off-road racing, Riley soon found his place among his father, grandfather, and uncles. Side by side, they raced, navigating treacherous terrains and living up to the family name. His participation in these esteemed racing events was a mark of his personal growth as a racer and a symbol of his proud lineage.
When Riley Herbst’s journey led him to the ARCA Menards Series in 2017, it was a turning point that took his racing career to a whole new level. Signing with Joe Gibbs Racing, a team with a proven track record in nurturing young talent, was like hitting the jackpot. It was a chance to make a mark on a much bigger stage, and Riley was more than ready to seize it.
Herbst was initially slated to drive the No. 81 Toyota, but age restrictions saw him swapping the keys for the No. 18. If he had any nerves about stepping into the big leagues, he certainly didn’t show it. Instead, he embraced the challenge head-on, making an immediate impact by showing his competitors and the audience that a new player had arrived.
His debut season in the ARCA Menards Series was nothing short of remarkable. Riley took home a victory at the demanding Pocono Raceway, a testament to his skill, determination, and sheer racing instinct. This major win, the first in his professional racing career, was a clear indicator that he was here to stay and conquer.
But the victory at Pocono was just one of the highlights in a season filled with sterling performances. Frequently finishing in the top five and closing the season 7th in the overall rankings underscored Herbst’s consistency and prowess behind the wheel. It wasn’t just about winning; it was about being competitive, race after race.
Riding high on the wave of success from his stint in the ARCA series, Riley Herbst was ready to face his next challenge in the form of the NASCAR Xfinity Series. This move in 2018 represented a step up in class, but Riley was never one to shy away from a challenge. With the might of Joe Gibbs Racing behind him, he was well-prepared to face the trials that lay ahead.
Making his debut at the famed Iowa Speedway was a pivotal moment in Riley’s career. He was about to join the ranks of the NASCAR Next class of 2018, a group of elite drivers earmarked as the future of NASCAR. With his selection, Riley was now part of a group that served as the breeding ground for the next generation of top-tier drivers. It was an honor, no doubt, but also an added pressure. Riley, however, was up to the task.
Racing in the No. 18 car, the same number he had made his mark in the ARCA series, felt like home for Riley. He was ready to take this familiar partner through the rigors of a new racing format. His performances on the track were commendable, displaying the tenacity and resilience that were fast becoming his trademarks.
Sharing the track with seasoned pros like Jeffrey Earnhardt, Kyle Busch, and Denny Hamlin could have been daunting. However, Riley took it in stride, showcasing his ability to hold his own amidst such an experienced company. This transition phase was about learning and evolving, and Riley was doing just that. The Xfinity Series was his new playground, and he was ready to play.
Riley Herbst’s transition into the Xfinity Series was marked by tenacity, resilience, and a consistent drive to better his performances race after race. Across his 5-year tenure in the series, Riley accumulated a remarkable tally of achievements that underscore his position as a stalwart in the sport.
During this time, Riley partook in 109 fiercely contested races. Racing at this level is no small feat, with each race presenting a unique set of challenges. Despite the intensity, Riley managed to make his mark time and again, consistently showcasing his ability to compete with the best in the business.
A clear testament to Riley’s racing acumen was his ability to secure top-ten finishes. Out of the 109 races he participated in, Riley finished in the top ten an impressive 60 times. This consistent record of strong finishes demonstrates his knack for navigating the unpredictable waters of stock car racing and his ability to deliver commendable performances under pressure.
The year 2022 emerged as a significant milestone in Riley’s Xfinity Series journey. Not only did he maintain a consistent record of strong finishes, but he also achieved his best finish in the series to date. He ended the season in an admirable 10th place, marking a high point in his Xfinity career.
To summarize Riley’s achievements in the Xfinity Series:
These statistics speak volumes of Riley’s determination, skill, and promise for the future in the racing world.
In the ever-evolving world of NASCAR, few transitions stand out quite like that of Riley Herbst’s move to Stewart-Haas Racing. This significant career shift took place in December 2020, when Herbst made the decision to join one of the most prominent teams in the sport.
Starting with the 2021 season, Riley found himself behind the wheel of the No. 98 Ford. This marked a new chapter in his career and brought with it the fresh challenges and opportunities that come with racing under a new banner.
His initial phase at Stewart-Haas Racing wasn’t without its fair share of hurdles. A series of unfortunate wrecks could have easily shaken the confidence of a lesser experienced driver, but Riley was undeterred. Showing great character, he promptly bounced back and took the racing world by storm with a commendable fourth-place finish at Phoenix Raceway. This significant comeback underscored his resilience and proved his mettle in overcoming adversity on the track.
2022 brought even more promise for Herbst. This year marked a career-high for him at Stewart-Haas Racing. He finished in the Top 5 eight times, demonstrating consistent performance and a commendable ability to hold his own against some of the best in the sport. But the highlights didn’t stop there. Riley also achieved an impressive 20 Top 10 finishes throughout the season, reinforcing his reputation as a top-tier driver and showcasing his growing mastery behind the wheel.
Even as he was making a name for himself in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Riley Herbst broadened his racing horizons by participating in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. From 2018 to 2023, he juggled responsibilities between the two racing series, an effort that stands as a testament to his resilience, passion for the sport, and versatility as a driver.
Over this 5-year span, Herbst competed in 11 races in the Truck Series, a demanding platform that showcased his adaptability in navigating different racing formats. While victory eluded him in this series, it’s important not to overlook the significance of his continued dedication and consistent performances.
Each race in the Truck Series served as an opportunity for Herbst to refine his craft, compete against an array of skilled drivers, and gain more exposure to different race dynamics. His ability to keep up with the seasoned drivers, maintain his composure, and stay competitive despite the pressure, made an impression within the NASCAR community.
The fact that he didn’t secure a victory in the Truck Series shouldn’t overshadow his achievements. For many drivers, merely stepping into the competitive and fast-paced world of NASCAR is a victory in itself. Herbst’s ability to maintain steady performances, even without a podium finish, demonstrated his enduring commitment to the sport.
One of the pivotal moments in Riley Herbst’s Truck Series journey undoubtedly occurred at the iconic Talladega Superspeedway in 2019. For Herbst, it was an unforgettable race that cemented his presence in the Truck Series, showcasing not only his skill and tenacity as a driver but also his sportsmanship in the face of disappointment.
The race was a whirlwind of intense competition and unpredictability, typical for the nature of racing at the legendary Talladega Superspeedway. It was here that Herbst truly shined, navigating the high-speed, high-stakes race with the poise and determination of a seasoned racer.
As the race drew to a thrilling close, Herbst was in an impressive position. Coming into the final lap, he was poised to overtake Johnny Sauter for the win, setting the stage for what could have been the most significant achievement of his Truck Series career. It was a tense moment as thousands of spectators held their breath, eyes riveted to the spectacle unfolding on the race track.
Let’s break down the high points and notable events in Riley Herbst’s Truck Series career.
These moments represent the key highlights and noteworthy events of Herbst’s career in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, demonstrating his growth as a driver and his resilience in the face of challenges.
A new horizon dawned for Riley Herbst on January 31, 2023. This was the day when his long-awaited chance to ascend to the top echelons of the racing world came to fruition. Joining hands with Rick Ware Racing, Herbst penned a pivotal chapter in his racing story, marking his debut in the prestigious NASCAR Cup Series.
The adrenaline-filled atmosphere of the Daytona 500 in 2023 served as the backdrop to his inaugural race in the Cup Series. Behind the wheel of the No. 15 Ford, the anticipation, excitement, and the pure thrill of making this significant leap were palpable. As Herbst joined the starting grid, the culmination of years of hard work, dedication, and countless laps around various tracks across America led him to this moment.
NASCAR’s premier racing series, the Cup Series, was uncharted territory for Herbst. Here, he was up against seasoned drivers who had honed their skills over many high-stakes races. The stakes were higher, the challenges steeper, and the spotlight brighter. But Riley, always eager to push his boundaries, was prepared. Drawing on the experience he’d gained over the years in the ARCA Menards Series, Xfinity Series, and Camping World Truck Series, he plunged into the deep end of the pool.
His debut at Daytona, one of the most iconic and revered venues in NASCAR, was an emblem of his resilience and determination. The 2.5-mile track, known for its high banking and high speeds, provided a fitting and dramatic stage for Herbst to step into NASCAR’s top-tier series. As he fired up the engine and aligned for the green flag, Herbst proved he belonged among the NASCAR elite, ready to etch his name into the annals of Cup Series history.
The NASCAR Cup Series presented a new set of challenges for Riley Herbst, but this rising star was not one to back down easily. Making his debut in the 2023 season, he demonstrated a stellar performance that left spectators and competitors alike in awe. Embarking on this new journey in the iconic Daytona 500 race, Herbst not only held his own against the series’ seasoned veterans but also managed to secure a top-ten finish, a feat that would be a challenge for even the most seasoned racers.
This achievement was even more remarkable, given the circumstances of the race. Towards the end, a multi-car crash sent cars spinning and hearts racing, a scenario that would rattle even the most experienced of drivers. Despite being part of this late-race chaos, Herbst navigated the perilous situation with aplomb, a testament to his skill, determination, and exceptional presence of mind.
This top-ten finish at Daytona wasn’t just another feather in Herbst’s cap; it was a significant milestone that underscored his promising potential. By achieving this, he joined the elite club of NASCAR drivers who have scored a top-ten finish in their debut races in all three major NASCAR series – the Cup, Xfinity, and Truck Series. This trifecta of top-ten finishes is not just an indicator of Herbst’s exceptional talent and racing acumen but also a harbinger of the many great performances expected to follow in his promising career.
Overall, Herbst’s initial successes in the NASCAR Cup Series have solidified his standing as a formidable competitor and a rising star in the racing world. His debut performance has set a high bar, and fans and competitors alike are excited to see where his journey in the NASCAR Cup Series will take him next.
Herbst’s 2023 season has been filled with consistent performances and marked improvements. While he has yet to achieve his first win in the NASCAR Cup Series, his steady presence in the top-ten positions has been commendable.
His performance at the Phoenix Raceway stands out where he started at the 10th position and finished 4th, bagging an impressive 43 points. Likewise, his 5th position finishes at the Atlanta Motor Speedway starting from the 5th position also earned him an impressive 47 points, his highest points accumulation in a single race this season.
Below is a comprehensive breakdown of Herbst’s performances in the 2023 season up until now:
|Track||Starting Position||Finishing Position||Points||Playoff Points|
|Daytona International Speedway||9||6||35||0|
|Auto Club Speedway||6||7||38||0|
|Las Vegas Motor Speedway||10||8||39||0|
|Atlanta Motor Speedway||5||5||47||0|
|Circuit of The Americas||7||10||32||0|
|Dover Motor Speedway||11||21||16||0|
|Charlotte Motor Speedway||13||14||24||0|
|Portland International Raceway||12||32||9||0|
With a total of 14 races, Herbst has showcased his potential and perseverance on the track. He’s exhibited great skill and adaptability across a variety of tracks and under differing race conditions. Looking ahead, Herbst has a promising trajectory in his debut Cup Series season, and it’s expected that he will continue to make strides with each race.
Throughout his career, Riley Herbst has been consistent, and his performances have continually improved. From his initial days in the ARCA Menards Series, he showcased his potential, which carried over to his run in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. He has shown consistency in securing top-10 finishes throughout the years. His current debut season in the Cup Series reflects his continued growth and potential for achieving even greater milestones in his racing career.
Below is a complete breakdown of Herbst’s career statistics up to this point:
|Year||Series Rank||Wins||Top 5's||Top 10's||Poles||Laps Led||Average Start||Average Finish|
With each passing year, Herbst has shown that he can improve and adapt to the intense competition on the track. His all-time career stats underscore his talent and showcase his endurance in a sport renowned for its unpredictability and competitive spirit. Looking ahead, there’s little doubt that Herbst has a promising trajectory in his career. His consistent performances have laid the foundation for greater accomplishments on the horizon.
Riley Herbst, a renowned NASCAR driver, is currently not in a romantic relationship. As of my analysis, Herbst seems to be single and not seen with anyone who could be interpreted as his girlfriend in recent times.
However, in the past, around 2014, he mentioned Maddie Cearlock as his girlfriend on Twitter. As far as children are concerned, there are no public records of Riley having any children to date.
As I mentioned earlier, Riley was born on February 24, 1999, to parents Troy Herbst and Laura Sosey Herbst, Riley was raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. His father, Troy, is a former off-road racer with seven off-road championship wins to his name.
Currently, he is a partner of Herbst Development and serves as the vice president of the family-owned Terrible Herbst Oil Company. Riley’s mother, Laura, is a homemaker. He comes from a family with a rich racing background, with his grandfather and uncles being involved in desert racing events like the Baja 500. Riley also has an elder sister named Shelby Herbst, who is a web designer and developer running Wunderweb Studio.
Riley Herbst showcases impressive physical fitness, a vital attribute for his dynamic career as a professional NASCAR driver. With a height of around 5 feet 10 inches and a weight of approximately 170 pounds, Herbst’s physique is exceptionally suited for the adrenaline-packed environment of auto racing. His fit and lean build is reflective of his diligent exercise routine, which incorporates a balance of aerobic and anaerobic workouts.
The Las Vegas native is a model of physical excellence, demonstrating the ability to withstand the strenuous and unpredictable nature of his sport. From his muscular build to his agile reflexes, each physical feature contributes to his competence on the race track. Notably, his endurance, core strength, and flexibility are finely tuned, the results of a comprehensive fitness program that integrates cardio, resistance training, and stretching exercises.
In the demanding world of professional racing, physical condition can play a significant role in a driver’s performance. Riley Herbst’s dedication to maintaining peak physical health is indeed indicative of his commitment to his sport, adding to his competitiveness on the NASCAR circuit.
As we’ve reached the midpoint of the year 2023, the estimated net worth of Riley Herbst, the young, talented professional racing driver, has been calculated at approximately $0.5 million. This value represents a significant achievement for a driver of his age and career length in the competitive field of auto racing.
It’s important to note that this estimated figure does not solely derive from prize money earned from races. It also includes endorsements, partnerships, and any other income streams he might have connected to his burgeoning career.
Now, on the topic of salary, while the exact details are confidential and can vary greatly depending on the terms of contracts, the endorsements, and the number of races, an educated estimate can be given. In the auto racing industry, particularly in NASCAR, where Herbst competes, salaries can range dramatically. However, as a rising talent who has yet to fully establish his place among the top elite racers, Herbst’s annual salary might be expected to be around the lower to mid-end of the scale.
As of 2023, the salary of a typical NASCAR driver might range from $200,000 to several million dollars. The lower end of that range is likely a more accurate estimate for Herbst, given his current career stage. Nevertheless, this could easily increase in the coming years as he continues to prove his skill and marketability in the racing world.
Outside of his racing career, Riley enjoys playing outdoor games, with a particular fondness for tennis. Being part of a family with a rich history in racing, it’s no surprise that a significant part of his life revolves around motorsports. Furthermore, he has shown an interest in off-road racing from an early age, participating in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series’ Junior 1 Kart division.
Unfortunately, there isn’t readily available public information detailing Riley Herbst’s involvement in charitable work or philanthropy. However, this does not necessarily mean he isn’t involved in such endeavors; many public figures choose to keep their charitable contributions private.
Riley Herbst is quite active on social media. He has an Instagram account with over 18k followers and a Twitter account with around 10.6k followers, where he shares updates on his racing career and personal life. His social media content mostly revolves around his professional life, and he seems to prefer keeping his personal life private.
Overall, Riley Herbst’s personal life reflects his dedication to his racing career, and despite being in the public eye, he has managed to maintain a reasonable degree of privacy. With his continuing success in NASCAR, his fan base on social media and beyond is set to grow even more in the coming years.