Myatt Snider and Riley Herbst will only need to change one digit on their 2020 numbers for the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series season. On Thursday, Richard Childress Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing announced that Snider and Herbst will respectively drive the #2 Chevrolet Camaro and #98 Ford Mustang on full-time bases in 2021. Both drivers are entering their sophomore year of Xfinity competition.
As an Xfinity rookie in 2020, Snider conducted double duty as he split time in RCR’s #21 and RSS Racing‘s #93. Snider shared the former with Anthony Alfredo, Kaz Grala, and Earl Bamber as he ran eight races; after winning the pole for his series début, he recorded three top-ten finishes with a highest run of fourth at Pocono. The rest of the schedule was spent in the #93, which was also driven by C.J. McLaughlin, Joey Gase, Jeff Green, and Josh Reaume in 2020. Snider’s stint in the #93, which is substantially underpowered compared to RCR’s cars, saw him score three top tens with a best finish of seventh at Homestead 2. He concluded his rookie campaign with a sixteenth-place points finish.
“I was so thankful last season to run a part-time schedule with RCR, but knowing I’m going to be racing full-time now with a chance to compete for a championship in the NASCAR Xfinity Series means the world to me,” Snider stated. “I can’t thank Richard Childress, everyone at RCR and ECR (engine builder Earnhardt Childress Racing), my family, and (sponsor) TaxSlayer enough for believing in me. Between the quality of people and resources available to me at RCR and Chevrolet, I will have all the tools I need to succeed. I had a lot of success with the #2 early in my racing career, so it’s really special to have the opportunity to compete with that number again, especially with all the history it has at RCR.”
Although the #2 was not used in 2020, it was a regular car of RCR’s Xfinity program from 1999 to 2019. Kevin Harvick won the 2001 series championship with the number, while Clint Bowyer scored three top-five points finishes in it. In the #2’s latest season, current RCR Cup Series driver Tyler Reddick piloted it to the series title.
While Snider simply has to remove a 1 from his 2020 number to get his 2021 car, Herbst just changes the 1 on his 2020 to a 9 for 2021. Herbst moves to the Ford camp after spending his entire NASCAR career with Toyota. In his lone full-time Xfinity season with Joe Gibbs Racing, he recorded seventeen top tens, four top fives, and a best race finish of second at Fontana and Kentucky as he finished twelfth in the standings.
Herbst lost his to Daniel Hemric shortly after the season ended. However, he now steps into a car that enjoyed great success in 2020 with the Cup-bound Chase Briscoe, who won a series-high nine races and reached the Championship Round.
“I feel like I’m kind of 17 again and moved out to the East Coast because I’ve been over in the JGR family for four years now, so it was a big transition but it’s one I think I needed and I’m looking forward to it,” Herbst said in a media conference. “All these new faces kind of give me a blank sheet to start up again and see where this can take me. […]
“This car was the best car week in and week out last year. That has a lot to do with Chase Briscoe. As you can see he’s in the Cup Series now. He’s a heck of a wheel man himself, but I know (crew chief) Richard Boswell and all the guys on the 98 team are really smart and know what they’re doing and they’re gonna bring me just as fast race cars as they did last year with Chase, so it’s on me.”
While Herbst will not have any team-mates at SHR (which he described as “definitely a different change of environment”), he is not the only Ford Xfinity driver as series champion Austin Cindric returns to Team Penske for 2021. Coincidentally, Herbst will also have a familiar sponsored driver in the Ford stable as Monster Energy, which has sponsored him since 2019, is also a partner with development driver and Camping World Truck Series rookie Hailie Deegan.
“The competition in the Xfinity Series is really difficult,” Herbst continued. “All of the guys are really good and I kind of expected that coming up. I knew it was gonna be a challenge to race in this series and those guys were there for a reason and they’re really fast. I hope I’m in a better position to go win races this year, just with that year of experience underneath my belt and with this new team I’ve joined at Stewart-Haas Racing I feel like this is my best foot forward to try to go win races for sure.”