Harvick will retire at the end of the 2023 season

The 2023 season will be Kevin Harvick’s 23rd and final year as a NASCAR Cup Series driver. The 47-year-old racer will retire after the season finale on November 5 at Phoenix Raceway.

Harvick, known as “The Closer,” is starting his final season in Division NASCAR tied for ninth on the all-time Cup Series wins list with 60 points-paying victories. He’s just 99 laps shy of driving an astounding 16,000 in his career – one of only 11 drivers in the sport’s history to do so – and Bakersfield, Calif. –The National is scheduled to make his 800th career home start on April 23 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.

“There is nothing else in the world that I enjoy more than going to the racetrack, and I am genuinely looking forward to this season,” said Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Ford Mustang for Stuart Haas Racing. “But as the years went by, I knew there would come a day when I had to make a decision. When was it time to get away from the car?

“I looked up people and picked their minds. When I asked them when they knew it was the right time, they said it would just happen, and you would realize this was the right moment. You would make a plan and decide when your final year is.

“It was definitely hard to understand when that was the right moment because we were so lucky to work so well. But sometimes there are other things that happen that become more important, and for me, it’s about time.”

Harvick’s decision to make the 2023 season his last comes when the father-in-law has more family time. Together with his wife, DeLana, they will continue to visit racetracks, but Harvick will not wear a motorcycle suit. 10-His one-year-old son Kellan is an avid carter who takes part in international racing, and his 5-year-old daughter Piper already follows the family tire tracks, driving her own go-kart.

“Last year, I think I saw Kellan race three times when he was in Europe. I go to a go-kart track with Piper and she takes twice as many steps in a day while I’m there than she does on a day I’m not there. It takes a lot,” Harvick said. It takes a lot of time to organize the level of racing they’re doing, and being around that is important to me.”

Karting is where Harvick’s career began. He was five years old when he first started racing in and around Southern California. Twenty years later, after competing in and winning the NASCAR Southwest Tour, capturing the 1998 NASCAR Winston West Championship, advancing to the NASCAR Truck Series and then the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Harvick was in the Cup. However, she was under very difficult circumstances and enormous pressure.

The 25-year-old Harvick was propelled into the national spotlight and tasked with doing the impossible — filling the void left by passing the sport’s icon, Dale Earnhardt. A crash on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500 took Earnhardt’s life. In the midst of great personal grief, team owner Richard Childress needed to stabilize his organization. He picked Harvick, a rookie racer who had a breakout season in 2000 by winning three races for his team in the Grade II Busch Series, known today as the Xfinity Series.

The No. 3, made famous by Earnhardt, was changed to the No. 29, and Harvick made his Cup Series debut on February 25 at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham. Harvick started 36th on Sunday at Rockingham, but rained down on the track for only 51 laps in the 393-lap race. Racing resumed at 11 a.m. ET on Monday, with Harvick leading to a 14th-place finish. Then he flew to Las Vegas on Tuesday, got married on Wednesday, and was back in stock car racing on Friday, competing in both Xfinity Series and Cup Series events at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. After finishing eighth on Sunday to score his first career top-10 in the Cup Series, Harvick headed to Atlanta Motor Speedway where his first of his 60 Cup Series wins was secured on March 11, 2001 in only his third career start.

“Dale’s pass forever changed our sport, forever changed my life and the direction it took. It took me a long time to really feel comfortable to think about the things that happened that day,” Harvick said.

“Looking back now, you know the importance of having a Cup car, and then we ended up winning my first race in Atlanta in the 29 car after Dale died. The significance and importance of keeping that car on the track and winning that race early in Atlanta—knowing now what This sport means him, and just that moment in general of being able to keep going, was very important.”

Wise after his age, Harvick was capable of hash and performance. In addition to running the remainder of the Cup Series schedule and winning again on July 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois, Harvick ran the entire Xfinity Series schedule, winning five races and sprinting to the championship.

“We just found a way to make it work, and that’s what we’ve been doing all year,” said Harvick, who won his second Xfinity Series title in 2006, once again running the full Cup and Xfinity schedules.

Making it work is what Harvick has done his entire career. This was evident from day one at Stewart-Haas Racing, joining the team in December 2013 after spending 14 seasons with Childress.

Teaming up with crew chief Rodney Childers, Harvick came out of the gate strong and never let up. It began with a dominant pre-season test at Charlotte (NC) Motor Speedway and ended with an emphatic season finale victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway that earned Harvick the long-awaited Cup Series championship.

Today, Harvick and Childers are the longest-serving active driver crew chiefs in the Cup Series garage, a 10-year partnership that has tallied 37 win points.

“Rodney and I are about the same age with very similar backgrounds, as far as racing is concerned. But we’re kind of opposites in that he’s very calm, cool and calm, and I’m kind of peppy and action-packed. This pairing has brought me so much respect simply because I know his behaviour, he knows mine.” , which is a good balance in the middle,” said Harvick.

“We know that each of us can do the job, we believe in that and in each other, and a lot of that comes down to conversations and the ability to communicate. We communicate well, and that’s what makes for a good pairing — being able to talk, communicate and put those conversations into action. And when you are Wrong, understand when you’re wrong, work through that without anyone’s feelings getting hurt and start pointing fingers and that’s what made it work.”

The command shown by Harvick behind the wheel and outside of the race car was one of the main reasons why Tony Stewart, co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, wanted Harvick on his racing team.

said Stewart, a three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion who co-owns Stewart-Haas Racing with Haas Automation founder Gene Haas. “He’s incredibly reliable—steadfast, calculated, and on track with the drive to always be the best. That’s what you want in a teammate. He knows what it takes to be successful, and his will to win has helped elevate our entire company.”

Stewart retired as a NASCAR driver at the end of the 2016 season. His hope for Harvick’s final season is optimistic and straightforward.

“I want Kevin to savor every lap this season, race like hell and take it all in. He made all of us at Stewart-Haas Racing incredibly proud and want to make his last season his best season.”

Harvick’s final season begins with a scoreless Busch Light Clash at Coliseum February 4-5 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum before the official start of the 2023 campaign with the 65th Annual Daytona 500 on February 19 in Daytona (FL). International highway.


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