NASCAR: 5 possible replacements for Kevin Harvick

Kevin Harvick, NASCAR (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, NASCAR (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /
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Riley Herbst, NASCAR
Riley Herbst, Stewart-Haas Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Possible Kevin Harvick replacements: No. 2 – Riley Herbst

Performance-wise, Riley Herbst has not done all that much (to put it bluntly, absolutely nothing) to justify a promotion to the NASCAR Cup Series. Some have called into question why Stewart-Haas Racing have even brought him back to their Xfinity Series team for a third season in 2023.

The 23-year-old Las Vegas, Nevada native is winless in two seasons with the organization and winless in three-plus seasons with top-tier Xfinity Series organizations, having spent a year and change with Joe Gibbs Racing prior to his arrival as Chase Briscoe’s replacement behind the wheel of the No. 98 Ford.

In three full seasons with those two top-tier teams, he has finished no higher than 10th place in the championship standings.

However, with Cole Custer having been demoted back to the Xfinity Series for the 2023 season, Herbst is set to have a direct measuring stick within Stewart-Haas Racing on which to base his performance. If he can rise to the occasion against a driver who, despite struggling in the Cup Series, has been tough to beat in the Xfinity Series, perhaps a second look will be justified.

What’s also worth mentioning here is sponsorship, which can play a key role in any driver getting or not getting a ride. Herbst has been backed by Monster Energy for several years, and if they are willing to do what they’ve done with Ty Gibbs and move up to the Cup Series with a young driver, Herbst is currently in the best position to benefit.

He’s still in a position to prove himself, however, and it won’t be easy.