Former NASCAR Cup Series champion to step away from full-time racing after this season: report

 

Kevin Harvick is expected to announce the upcoming season will be his last as a full-time NASCAR driver, according to The Athletic.

The 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion is expected to make the announcement Thursday before the start of his 23rd season.

Harvick was asked Dec. 1 about his future, and he said he would have a decision one way or another before the Daytona 500, which is scheduled for Feb. 19.

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Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Light Ford, waves to fans as he walks onstage during driver intros prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway Oct. 23, 2022, in Homestead, Fla.
(Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

“I think as we get to Daytona, I know 100 percent that we will have a direction because I’m not gonna start the season without knowing that direction,” he said at the time. “Just because of the fact that there’s just a lot of layers to unfold and really go through and evaluate. So we’ll see. I think it could go either way at this particular point.”

Harvick added that it’s “not fair to anybody” to not know Harvick’s status by the time the season starts.

Kevin Harvick signs autographs for NASCAR fans on the red carpet prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway Nov. 6, 2022, in Avondale, Ariz.
(Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

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The 47-year-old began his career in 2001 earlier than expected, as he filled an open slot following Dale Earnhardt’s death in 2001. He won the Rookie of the Year, which was a preview of what was to come. He’s won 60 races and has earned 428 top-10 finishes in his career. His most recent win came in Richmond at the Federated Auto Parts 400.

Harvick won the 2007 Daytona 500 and has seven other top-10 finishes in the race. He finished in fifth and fourth in 2020 and 2021, respectively, but finished in 30th last year.

His 60 career wins are tied with Kyle Busch for ninth-most all time.

Harvick has dabbled in broadcasting in recent years and made it to the final playoff championship round in 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019. His 37 wins in that span led all drivers.

NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick poses for a portrait during the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards at Wynn Las Vegas Dec. 5, 2014, in Las Vegas.
(Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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With 10 starts, Harvick will reach 800 for his career, a milestone only nine other drivers have reached.