It's no secret that Kevin Harvick will step away from racing in the NASCAR Cup Series at the end of the season. And with the 2023 season at the halfway point, his days behind the wheel of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford are numbered.
Fortunately for Harvick, he has already booked his next venture. The legendary driver won't be leaving NASCAR for good, as he will join the Fox NASCAR broadcast team for the 2024 season. The 2014 Cup series champion has a big change ahead of him, but he's definitely ready for it. Harvick holds no regrets about 2023 being his last season in a Cup car. He has already shown a natural knack for commentary, as he has served as a broadcaster for a number of Xfinity Series races over the past five or so years.
This has been a regular occurrence for NASCAR, with several other hall of fame drivers switching to broadcasting when their racing careers were done— including Darrell Waltrip, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr., to name a few.
With the recent race at Sonoma being the final race of the season carried by Fox, it was bittersweet for a number of Harvick's future co-workers including pit road reporter Jamie Little.
Final race covering @KevinHarvick as a driver. He?s certainly helped make me a better reporter over the years. Looking forward to calling him ?teammate? in ?24. (? taken inside the 4 hauler). @NASCARONFOX pic.twitter.com/W8wT6tINfk
— Jamie Little (@JamieLittleTV) June 9, 2023
Harvick told Joseph Wolkin from Forbes.com that he has no regrets and is ready for what's next.
"Every week has been like, 'That was the last Daytona 500, the last Coke 600,'" Harvick said. "I haven't gotten out of the car once and said, 'I don't know if this the right thing to do.' Part of that is because I know I'll be sitting in the TV booth next year. We have all of our business in line, the structure for everything we have and our people. It's a great time to transition and be part of what my kids have going on, and I'll help DeLana with them. I'm enjoying every week, but I'm not disappointed it's the last one."
Harvick hasn't been disappointing on the track with his performance in this final season either. He was on pace to outperform what Jeff Gordon did in his final season in 2015. Harvick hasn't won a race yet, but Gordon didn't grab his final win until four races left in the 2015 season.
Age hasn't been an issue for Kevin either, as he still is the best Stewart-Haas Racing driver and clearly is its only hope at this point in terms of championship contention. The other three drivers — Aric Almirola, Chase Briscoe and Ryan Preece — all sit 25th or lower in the standings. Even with the strong start to the 2023 season, Harvick will not be pulling a Tom Brady and making another run next year. He thought about it much of last season, and the decision was all but made.
There were a lot of maybes during the 2022 season, but as each race passed, the decision became clear.
"As we've gone to each race, we really started planning and put the pieces in play about a year ago to officially say there is no more maybe and there are no more extensions," Harvick said. "This is it."
This isn't the end of racing for the Harvick family, but it is just the start of a much bigger challenge for him. With broadcasting, helping his son, Keelan, in his own racing journey, and being a part-owner of the CARS Tour late-model series — plus all of the work with his KHI Management sports marketing firm — he will have plenty of things to do outside of a race car.
It's safe to say Kevin Harvick will still have a lot to do with NASCAR moving forward.
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