Kevin Harvick, the 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion, introduced Thursday morning that the 2023 season will likely be his final as a full-time driver. The Athletic reported Wednesday that his announcement was deliberate for Thursday.
“It’s time to name time. To get pleasure from all that we have achieved as a race workforce and to savor it with the ones who’ve made this journey potential,” Harvick mentioned in a video on social media. “A brand new chapter is looking. One the place being a father and a husband takes priority over being a driver. But that chapter continues to be a yr away. There’s nonetheless extra to be written.”
— Kevin Harvick (@KevinHarvick) January 12, 2023
The coming NASCAR season, which formally begins Feb. 19 with the Daytona 500, will likely be Harvick’s twenty third as a competitor in NASCAR’s premier sequence and his tenth with Stewart-Haas Racing.
When Harvick, 47 and the oldest lively full-time driver at the Cup degree, would retire has been an often-asked query over the previous few years and a supply of a lot hypothesis. He acknowledged in December that he was contemplating stepping away after the 2023 season.
“Right now, I’ll know that reply earlier than we get to Daytona,” Harvick mentioned when requested on Dec. 1 about presumably retiring. “I do not actually have a transparent reply on that proper now. I believe as we get to Daytona, I do know one hundred pc that we’ll have a route as a result of I’m not gonna begin the season with out figuring out that route. Just due to the reality that there is simply loads of layers to unfold and actually undergo and consider. So we’ll see. I believe it may go both method at this explicit level.”
“We’re at some extent the place all people wants to know what is going on on,” Harvick continued. “There’s too many tentacles to every thing that occurs, whether or not it is the race workforce, driver administration firm, each ingredient wants to know. It’s not honest to anyone to have to begin the season not figuring out.”
Harvick started racing in the Cup Series in 2001 when Richard Childress Racing named him to instantly substitute the late Dale Earnhardt, who had been killed in the earlier week’s Daytona 500. Harvick received two races that season and earned Rookie of the Year honors. He drove for RCR via the 2013 season earlier than departing to be a part of SHR, co-owned by good buddy Tony Stewart.
Since aligning with SHR, Harvick loved a excessive degree of consistency that had been largely absent throughout his tenure at RCR. He received the Cup championship in his first season with the group and superior to the closing playoff championship spherical in 2014, ’15, ’17, ’18 and ’19. His 37 wins throughout that span lead all drivers, whereas his 60 profession wins total are tied with Kyle Busch for ninth all-time.
Harvick received two races in 2022 and once more certified for the playoffs for a twelfth consecutive season. His first victory occurred at Michigan International Speedway in August, which snapped a 65-race winless streak. He received once more the following week at Richmond Raceway.
Harvick goes into the season simply 10 begins shy of reaching 800 profession begins, one thing solely 9 different drivers have achieved.
What’s precisely subsequent for Harvick past driving is unknown. The leisure administration company he based, Kevin Harvick Inc., represents Cup drivers Harrison Burton, Ryan Preece and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., as well as to numerous MMA fighters, skilled golfers and leisure artists, and his involvement with the firm is predicted to proceed. Nor would it not be shocking to see Harvick broaden his position on the tv aspect the place his work as a broadcaster for Fox Sports has earned him widespread reward.
Harvick’s departure creates a plum emptiness at SHR, one in all NASCAR’s prime organizations. The workforce just isn’t anticipated to title his substitute Thursday.
(Photo: Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today)