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February 2, 2024

Rick Ware Racing taps Riley Herbst for Daytona 500, partial Cup schedule in No. 15 Ford

Riley Herbst on the Xfinity Series qualifying grid at Phoenix Raceway for the 2023 season finale
Sean Gardner
Getty Images

Rick Ware Racing announced Friday that Riley Herbst will drive the team’s No. 15 Ford in the season-opening Daytona 500, marking the first race in a partial NASCAR Cup Series schedule in 2024.

Herbst, a NASCAR Xfinity Series regular, made four Cup Series starts last year, including a finish of 10th for the Rick Ware-owned operation in his debut in the 2023 Daytona 500. His No. 15 Mustang Dark Horse will carry primary sponsorship from Monster Energy in the “Great American Race” on Feb. 18 (2:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN Radio, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

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Herbst returns for his fifth full season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and his fourth with Stewart-Haas Racing. He did not make the Xfinity Series Playoffs cut last year, but posted five consecutive top-five finishes in a strong finish to the season, which included his first Xfinity win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Oct. 14.

“I’ve grown a lot as a race car driver, especially this past year,” Herbst said in a news release from the team. “I put in the work and try to maximize every opportunity, and I feel like last year that hard work and determination paid off. We were really strong at the end of the year. We never finished lower than fourth in our last five Xfinity Series races. I didn’t want the season to end. I’ve kind of been chomping at the bit to get this year started, so to be able to get back to Daytona and run the 500 is something I’m definitely looking forward to.”

Additional races for Herbst in the No. 15 Ford were not announced. The Ware organization named Kaz Grala as the primary driver of the No. 15 on Jan. 17, tapping him for 25 Cup Series races and this Sunday’s Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum exhibition (8 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN Radio, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Herbst will team with Justin Haley — full-time driver of RWR’s No. 51 Ford — in the 500-mile classic.