At the end of last season Kevin Harvick made the announcement that he would have a decision on whether or not he would continue driving full time past the 2023 season by the time the cars took to the track for the Daytona 500.

That answer has finally been revealed…

On January 12, Kevin Harvick announced that the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season would be his last as a full time driver.

Harvick was tapped by Richard Childress Racing in 2001 to drive the 29 car after the death of Dale Earnhardt Sr at the end of the Daytona 500.  It was decided that Harvick would not drive the black number three car and the car number was changed to 29.

Harvick won his first of 60 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway; beating Jeff Gordon in just his third start.  With those 60 wins, Harvick ranks ninth in all time race wins, tied with Kyle Busch.  Harvick and Busch are currently the only active drivers in the top 10.

Speaking on replacing Earnhardt he said, “looking back on it now, you realize the importance of getting in the Cup car, and then we 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.”

Now 47, Harvick earned his only Cup Series championship in his first year with Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014 driving the number four car.  That was also the first year of the current playoff system.

His other accomplishments include two Xfinity Series championships and a Rookie of the Year honour in his first year in the Cup Series.

When he owned his own team – Kevin Harvick Inc. – Harvick won 53 races and three championships in the Xfinity and Craftsman Truck Series.

Speaking on his decision Harvick said, “there is absolutely nothing else in the world that I enjoy doing more than going to the race track, and I’m genuinely looking forward to this season.  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.”

NASCAR President Steve Phelps spoke on Harvick saying, “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.  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.”

Speaking on his driver team co-owner and NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart said, “I want Kevin to savor every lap this season, to compete like hell and to take it all in.  He’s made all of us at Stewart-Haas Racing incredibly proud and we want to make his last season his best season.”

Harvick has also participated in numerous broadcasting events in the Xfinity Series including the drivers only days held on FOX Sports.

While Harvick no longer fields a racing team; he and wife DeLana continue with KHI Management and represent athletes in mixed martial arts, bull riding, and professional golf.  Earlier this week, Harvick joined the Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jeff Burton, and Justin Marks in purchasing the late model CARS Tour.

Harvick and his wife have two children Keelan and Piper and like many racing fathers, he also spends time supporting Keelan’s fledgling racing career.