KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (BVM) – Recently, Kevin Harvick made an announcement that a lot of NASCAR fans likely saw coming. Following the 2023 season, the longtime Cup Series driver will officially call it quits from full-time racing.
— Kevin Harvick (@KevinHarvick) January 12, 2023
The final season will put a cap on what has been a legendary career in the sport for Harvick. A multi-sport athlete growing up, Harvick began racing late models while he was in high school. Within a few years, he made his Craftsman Truck Series debut and eventually joined the Busch Series, becoming a full-time driver for Richard Childress Racing (RCR) in 2000.
No one had prepared for what happened next in Harvick’s career, however. While he was expected to run another year in the Busch Series, Harvick had to quickly jump to the Cup Series as he took over the seat held by Dale Earnhardt Sr. following his passing after the 2001 Daytona 500.
In just his third race, Harvick took home a narrow victory over Jeff Gordon, one of two races he’d win in his Rookie of the Year season.
Lots of memories on this old @AMSUpdates surface.
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) July 8, 2021
The wins back in 2001 are part of 60 total that Harvick has earned in over two decades in the Cup Series, highlighted by a Daytona 500 victory in 2007.
By 2014, Harvick transitioned from RCR to Stewart-Haas Racing, where he currently still drives the No. 4 Ford. Also a two-time Xfinity Series champion, Harvick claimed the Cup Series championship in his first season with Stewart-Haas.
Although he was in a bit of a drought going into last season, Harvick finally got back into victory lane in 2022 with wins in back-to-back August races at Michigan and Richmond.
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) August 14, 2022
It’s clear he can still race at a high level, and it will be interesting to see what 2023 has in store.
While the year will provide a nice sendoff for Harvick, Stewart-Haas will be tasked with finding a driver to replace the 60-time Cup Series winner. The team’s next driver will certainly have a lot to live up to, but there are some young and talented potential options available. Here are the top five drivers who could replace Harvick in 2024.