Riley Herbst has been a driver who for the most part has been rather disliked across the fans, at least the ones I have seen pop up on my Twitter timeline. A lot of the hate he gets is due to him not being able to perform in the good rides that he has had. The first few races of the season Herbst was not doing well at all with 3 crash outs leading to DNFS. Herbst has had arguably 2 of the best 2 rides in the series, Gibbs and Stewar-Hass. At the start of the season there was a solid argument to say that he was not deserving of his ride and severely underperforming. In the first 4 races Herbst did not have a finish inside the top 10 but across the last 4 races he has completely turned it around and in the last 4 races only has 1 finish outside the top 10 with 2 top 5s.
Leaving all the stats behind Herbst has a lot of talent behind him he just needs to find a way to harness it, string a whole race together, and know when’s the time to put the car on the line for a spot. The only issue I see with his driving is that sometimes he drives too hard too early. While I am one for aggressive hard driving there is also a time for the moves to be made and a time to sit and wait for the hole to open. This will obviously come with time and more experience on the track around the other drivers in the garage. There is no question that I think hsi season has been well below average, and well below expected, but I seriously think that we can see a win this season the more we see him put together 3 full stages of racing and smart moves. Once he masters these skills he can evolve into a serious contender who will someday make his move to the Cup Series.