Kevin Harvick to Retire at the end of the 2023 Season
CONCORD, NC - Kevin Harvick is retiring as a full-time driver after the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season is over. Harvick will vacate the No. 4 Ford Mustang at Stewart Haas after the NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix Raceway next fall.
“There is absolutely nothing else in the world that I enjoy doing more than going to the racetrack, and I’m genuinely looking forward to this season,” Harvick said in a statement. “But as I’ve gone through the years, I knew there would come a day where I had to make a decision. When would it be time to step away from the car? I’ve sought out people and picked their brains. When I asked them when they knew it was the right time, they said it’ll just happen, and you’ll realize that’s the right moment. You’ll make a plan and decide when it’s your last year.
“It’s definitely been hard to understand when that right moment is because we’ve been so fortunate to run well. But sometimes there are just other things going on that become more important and, for me, that time has come.”
He’s reportedly expected to join Fox Sports’ NASCAR broadcast team as an analyst, according to motorsport.com. Jeff Gordon left the booth after the 2021 season, and since then, it’s been a rotation of analysts filling the gap. In Stewart-Haas Racing’s announcement of Harvick’s retirement after ’23, he touched on wanting to be present as his two children advance in their own racing careers. Keelan, their 10-year-old son, competes internationally in karting while Piper, their five-year-old daughter, is racing in a go-kart on the family’s tire tracks.
His career is decorated with being one of just four drivers to win the crown jewels of NASCAR: Daytona 500, Coca-Cola 600, Brickyard 400 and Southern 500. Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Sr. are the other three. That latter name became pivotal in his career and in the wake of Earnhardt Sr.’s death, Harvick moved full-time to the late seven-time Cup champion’s seat.
“Dale’s passing changed our sport forever, and it changed my life forever and the direction it took. It took me a long time to really get comfortable to really even think about things that happened that day,” Harvick said in the team’s announcement of his retirement. “Looking back on it now, you realize 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.”
Come 2014, he’d go on to win his first Cup Series title. Harvick spent the first 13 seasons with Richard Childress Racing, and ’23 marks his 10th with SHR. No further racing plans were mentioned in announcements today
Ron Fleshman is NASCAR Editor at ris-news.com