Kevin Harvick to retire after 2023 NASCAR season

The 2023 NASCAR Cup season will be Kevin Harvick’s final one as a full-time competitor, but he won’t be leaving the series straight away.

Kevin Harvick, Stewart Haas Racing, Busch Light Ford Mustang

The 2014 NASCAR Cup champion announced will retire from full-time competition following the 2023 season and is expected to transition into the broadcast booth to be a TV analyst for Fox Sports’ NASCAR coverage in 2024.

The 2023 season is the final one in Harvick’s current contract with Stewart-Haas Racing as a Cup driver and Harvick has duly confirmed it will be his last in NASCAR as a full-time competitor.

As part of the expected deal with Fox in 2024, Harvick would work as an analyst alongside current lap-by-lap announcer Mike Joy and former NASCAR team-mate Clint Bowyer.

Despite being immersed in a 65-race winless streak for nearly two years, Harvick won back-to-back races in 2022 at Michigan and Richmond to make him one of just 10 drivers in series history to win at least 60 career races.

Harvick won the 2014 Cup title in his first season with SHR, having finished in the top-five in the series standings six times prior to championship triumph.

He has been an ever-present at the sharp end in the series having finished outside the top-five only twice since, including three straight appearances in the Championship 4 from 2017 to 2019.

Among his wins, Harvick has victories in the crown jewel races of the Daytona 500 (2007), Coca-Cola 600 (2011 and 2013), Brickyard 400 (2003, 2019, 2020) and Southern 500 (2014, 2020). The only other drivers in NASCAR history to accomplish this feat are the late Dale Earnhardt Sr, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson.

Harvick also has two Xfinity Series championships and 47 Xfinity wins, along with 14 Truck Series victories.

Harvick won the 2007 Daytona 24 Hours in a photo-finish with Mark Martin

Harvick won the 2007 Daytona 24 Hours in a photo-finish with Mark Martin

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Harvick’s entry into the Cup Series came unexpectedly in 2001.

He was scheduled to run a partial Cup schedule that season with Richard Childress Racing while competing full-time in the Xfinity Series, but the death of Earnhardt in a last-lap wreck in the Daytona 500 dramatically changed his career – and life.

RCR owner Richard Childress tapped Harvick as Earnhardt’s replacement in the #3 Chevrolet – rebranded as the #29 – and just weeks later Harvick came away from a side-by-side, last-lap battle with Gordon at Atlanta to emerge with his first series victory.

As the year continued, Harvick added another win at Chicagoland Speedway and finished ninth in the series standings, winning rookie of the year honours in his impromptu debut season.

“Dale’s passing changed our sport forever, and it changed my life forever and the direction it took,” said Harvick.

“It took me a long time to really get comfortable to really even think about things that happened that day.

“Looking back on it now, you realise the importance of getting in the Cup car, and then we wound up winning my first race at Atlanta in the 29 car after Dale’s death.

“The significance and the importance of keeping that car on the racetrack and winning that race early at Atlanta – knowing now what it meant to the sport, and just that moment in general of being able to carry on, was so important.”

Harvick's farewell '4EVER' tour kicks off next month with The Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, before running the Daytona 500 for 22nd consecutive year. 

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