Kevin Harvick, a NASCAR Cup Series driver and one of the sport’s all-time greats, announced on Thursday that he will retire from racing following the 2023 Cup season.
“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,” said Harvick in a statement, according to NASCAR. “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.”
Harvick, who made his Cup Series debut in 2001, has been one of the most successful and accomplished drivers in NASCAR history.
He has won 45 races in the Cup Series, including the prestigious Daytona 500 and the Southern 500, and has finished in the top 10 in the Cup Series standings 14 times. He also holds the record for most wins by a driver in the Xfinity Series with 51.
In his announcement, Harvick stated that he has been considering retirement for some time, but has decided to make the 2023 season his last in order to give fans and the sport time to prepare for his departure.
“I’ve been blessed to do what I love for as long as I have, and I’m grateful for every win, every pole, and every lap I’ve been able to compete in,” Harvick said in a statement. “But it’s time for me to step away from the sport and let the next generation of drivers take over.”
Harvick’s decision to retire after the 2023 season will mark the end of an era for NASCAR, as he has been one of the sport’s most recognizable and popular drivers for more than two decades. He has a huge fan base across the world, who will likely be saddened by the news of his retirement.
Harvick, a father of 10-year-old Keelan and 5-year-old Piper said even though this is his last season, he is looking forward to spending additional time with his children and wife DeLana.
According to NASCAR, “In the last year, I think I’ve seen Keelan race three times while he’s been in Europe,” Harvick, who is in the final year of his contract at Stewart-Haas Racing said. “I go to the go-kart track with Piper and she makes twice as many strides in a day while I’m there than she would in a day when I’m not there. It takes a lot of time to organize the level of racing they’re doing, and to be around that is important to me.”
Despite his decision to retire, Harvick has made it clear that he will continue to be involved in NASCAR in some capacity, and will not be leaving the sport entirely.
He has expressed interest in becoming a team owner, and it is expected that he will continue to be a major presence in the NASCAR community even after his retirement as a driver.
The 2023 season is shaping up to be a competitive one, and Harvick will be looking to go out on a high note.
He will be competing against some of the sport’s top drivers, including defending Cup Series champion Joey Logano and rising star Chase Elliott.
Harvick’s announcement has sent shockwaves through the NASCAR community, and fans and fellow drivers alike will be eager to see what the future holds for one of the greatest drivers in the sport’s history.
“With championships across several NASCAR series and a NASCAR Cup Series win total that ranks in the top 10, Kevin Harvick’s legacy as one of the all-time great drivers is secure,” NASCAR President Steve Phelps said in a statement.
“Beyond his success inside a race car, Kevin is a leader who truly cares about the health and the future of our sport – a passion that will continue long after his driving days are complete. On behalf of the France Family and all of NASCAR, I congratulate Kevin on a remarkable career and wish him the best of luck in his final season.”
Kevin Harvick is one of the sport’s all-time greats, and his contributions to NASCAR will not be forgotten.
He will be missed by his fans, fellow drivers, and the entire NASCAR community as a whole. He has had a huge impact on the sport and will always be remembered as a true legend of the sport.