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NASCAR Great Kevin Harvick Announces This Season Will Be His Last

Kevin Harvick, a fierce and outspoken competitor, will officially put it in park after the current season ends in November at Phoenix. 

By Andrew Woodin
Kevin Harvick speaking into a mic

With the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum in Los Angeles set to launch the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series in just a few weeks, Kevin Harvick sent shockwaves through Race World USA by announcing his retirement on Twitter.  

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“I’ve seen a lot, and I’ve done a lot, and I’m grateful for the opportunity,” noted Harvick in his Thursday morning post. “I’m always ready for a new season. It presents new challenges, and it forces you to find new ways to outsmart and outrun the competition.”

“But come November, when the checkered flag drops on the season finale in Phoenix, it will also be my final race as a NASCAR Cup Series driver,” Harvick revealed. “It’s time to call time, to enjoy all that we’ve achieved as a race team, and to savor it with the ones who have made this journey possible. The unbelievable became the believable, thanks to the help and support of so many.”

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Never one to settle, and always one to speak passionately from the heart, Harvick became a fan favorite while earning the respect of his peers when he took over for Dale Earnhardt at Richard Childress Racing after the NASCAR legend tragically died from injuries sustained during the 2001 Daytona 500. As he carried the torch, fans and drivers alike respected the fiery Harvick for exuding the same sort of ferocious spirit that Earnhardt embodied. Here’s what some of them had to say.

Tony Stewart

Though he used to think of him as “just another punk-racer,” Harvick’s co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing Tony Stewart explained why he’s never been happier to be wrong about his friend.

“I competed against Kevin for a long time, and I was so happy to finally have him a part of our race team,” explains the three-time Cup Series champ in a press release. “He’s incredibly reliable – consistent and calculated on the track with a drive to always be better. That’s what you want in a teammate. He knows what he needs to be successful, and his will to win helped elevate our entire company.”

“[Our] friendship has let me get to know the man behind the visor — a man that is consistent, calculated, family-oriented and fierce.”

NASCAR President Steve Phelps

Sharing a statement about Harvick’s planned retirement at the end of the season, NASCAR President Steve Phelps lauded him, declaring Harvick’s legacy as one of the all-time great drivers “is secure.”

“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,” penned Phelps in the statement. “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.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Considering the link Harvick will always share with The Intimidator, it’s safe to say probably no one’s had a more unique connection to Harvick’s roots as racer than No. 3’s son, Dale Earnhardt Jr. No. 88 also took to Twitter to honor Harvick.

“Incredible career for [him],” wrote Earnhardt Jr. “His path to becoming a champion wasn’t an easy one. I always respected his talent and approach through the years. … Imagine he will be fun to watch [in this final season.]”

During NASCAR’s rough patch with the Next Gen car this past season, Harvick became a vital force for the drivers, making sure that their concerns about the car’s ongoing list of safety issues would not go unanswered by the league. On the track, 47-year-old Bakersfield, California native won the 2014 Cup Series, the 2001 and 2006 Xfinity Series and the 2007 Daytona 500. To this day, he owns the record for the most Cup Series wins at Phoenix Raceway with nine victories.

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