Kevin Harvick is retiring from full-time NASCAR racing after the 2023 season

2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick announced Thursday morning that the 2023 season will be his last as a full-time driver. the athlete It reported Wednesday that his announcement was scheduled for Thursday.

“It’s time to connect. To enjoy and savor all that we’ve achieved as a racing team with the people who make this journey possible.” Video on social media. “A new chapter is calling. One where a father and husband take precedence over being drivers. But this chapter is still a year away. There is still more to be written.”

The upcoming NASCAR season, which officially begins on February 19 with the Daytona 500, will be Harvick’s 23rd as a competitor in the premier NASCAR series and 10th with Stewart-Haas Racing.

When Harvick, at 47 and the oldest full-time active driver at Cup level, will retire has been an often asked question over the past few years and a source of much speculation. He admitted in December that he is considering moving away after the 2023 season.

“Right now, I’ll know that answer before we get to Daytona,” Harvick said when asked December 1 about his possible retirement. “I don’t have a clear answer to that at the moment. I think when we get to Daytona I know 100% that we’ll have a direction because I wouldn’t start the season without knowing that direction. Just because of the fact that there are a lot of layers to unfold and really test and evaluate. So we’ll see. I think it could go either way at this very point.”

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“We’re at a point where everyone needs to know what’s going on,” Harvick continued. “There are just too many tentacles to everything that’s going on, whether it’s the race team or the driver management company, every element needs to be known. It’s not fair that anyone has to start the season unknowingly.”

Harvick began racing in the Cup Series in 2001 when Richard Childress Racing hired him to immediately replace the late Dale Earnhardt, who had been killed in the Daytona 500 the previous week. Harvick won two races that season and was named Rookie of the Year. He traveled for RCR during the 2013 season before leaving to join SHR, which is owned by good friend Tony Stewart.

Since aligning with SHR, Harvick has enjoyed a high level of consistency that was largely absent during his tenure at RCR. He won the Cup championship in his first season with the organization and advanced to the championship final round in 2014-15-17-18-19. His 37 wins over that span lead all drivers, while his 60 career victories tie Kyle Busch for the most ninth ever.

Harvick won two races in 2022 and again qualified for the playoffs for the 12th straight season. for him The first victory occurred at Michigan International Speedway in August, which snapped a 65-race streak. he He won again the following week at Richmond Raceway.

Harvick goes into the season just 10 starts, shy of reaching 800 career starts, something only nine other drivers have accomplished.

What exactly is next for Harvick after driving is unknown. the Entertainment management agency he foundedKevin Harvick Inc. , representing Cup drivers Harrison Burton, Ryan Preece, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. , in addition to many more MMA fighters, professional golfers, and entertainers, and it is expected that his involvement with the company will continue. And it wouldn’t be surprising to see Harvick expand his role on the television side as his work as a broadcaster for Fox Sports has earned him widespread acclaim.

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Harvick’s departure creates a vacancy at SHR, one of NASCAR’s top organizations. The team is not expected to name his replacement Thursday.

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(Photo: Mark J. Rebellas/USA Today)

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