NORTH WILKESBORO, N.C. (BVM) – Kevin Harvick’s 10th season driving Stewart-Haas Racing’s (SHR) No. 4 car also comes with the end of his last season in NASCAR. The veteran driver declared his intention to retire following the 2023 campaign after 23 years at the sport’s highest level.
With an impressive tenure that has included 37 wins and nearly 150 top-five finishes with the team, Harvick will leave the car with even more success than he found at Richard Childress Racing (RCR). With his last season in RCR’s No. 29 car coming back in 2013, Harvick revealed an ode to his past accomplishments by announcing that he will be racing the number during the All-Star event at North Wilkesboro Speedway on May 21.
— Stewart-Haas Racing (@StewartHaasRcng) March 16, 2023
Entering NASCAR’s top stage back in 2001, Harvick found plenty of success under Richard Childress Racing, after taking over for Dale Earnhardt following the legendary driver’s death. In his first 13 seasons, Harvick made the most of a difficult entry by going on to collect 23 wins and 100 top-five finishes. With the team making the switch from Earnhardt’s No. 3 before Harvick’s entrance, the driver would go on to become synonymous with the team’s No. 29 car.
“When I sat in the 29 for the first time, it really wasn’t by choice, but I definitely wouldn’t have done it any differently,” Harvick said in a release. “Dale’s passing changed our sport forever, and it changed my life forever and the direction it took. Looking back on it now, I realize the importance of getting in the Cup car, and then I wound up winning my first race at Atlanta in the 29 car after Dale’s death.
“The significance and the importance of keeping that car on the race track and winning that race early at Atlanta – knowing now what it meant to the sport, and just that moment in general of being able to carry on – was so important.”
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) March 16, 2023
With a chance to race in the number one more time, Harvick couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to drive the Busch Light sponsored Ford Mustang in North Wilkesboro.
“With this being my last year as a Cup Series driver, we wanted to highlight a lot of these moments, and many were made at RCR in that 29 car,” Harvick said. “So, with the All-Star Race going to North Wilkesboro – a place with a ton of history – we thought it made sense in a year full of milestones and moments to highlight where it all started.
“I don’t know the last time the All-Star Race was the most anticipated event of the season,” Harvick said. “Fans are going to show up in droves. North Wilkesboro is a great short track, the asphalt’s worn out, and I think it’s going to be a fantastic event.”
Harvick currently sits as the Cup Series points leader, with three top-10 finishes in four races this season. With 32 races left on the schedule, Harvick is looking to make the most of his final journey.