• Sat. Apr 1st, 2023

Countdown to the Clash: Kevin Harvick set for final full-time NASCAR season

ByEvan McNelia

Feb 2, 2023
Kevin Harvick greets the fans

Photo courtesy of Logan Riely | Getty Images

Kevin Harvick is entering his 23rd and final full-time Cup Series season in 2023. The 2014 Champion announced his decision to retire earlier in the offseason in January. 

Harvick has had an illustrious career, running 790 races, the 10th most in NASCAR Cup Series history. He has 430 career top-10 finishes, 245 top-5 finishes and 60 wins. His 60 wins ate tied for ninth in Cup Series history with fellow active driver Kyle Busch.

Harvick made his debut in the second race of 2001 with Richard Childress Racing following the tragic loss of Dale Earnhardt Sr. at that year’s Daytona 500. It took Harvick just three races to win his first race at Atlanta. On his victory lap, he honored Earnhardt by driving the track backward while holding three fingers out the window for Earnhardt’s No. 3 car. The win made Harvick the fastest driver to win a Cup Series race at the time surpassing Dale Earnhardt Jr. who won in his 12th career race.

After 13 seasons with RCR, Harvick moved to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014 where he has piloted the No. 4 since. Of his 60 career wins, 37 have come with Stewart-Haas with 23 wins in the last five seasons. In his first season with the team, he placed in the top 10 20 times and won five races, including the final two of the season as he won his first Championship.

Last year, Harvick recorded 17 top-10 finishes and two wins. He won back-to-back races during the regular season at Michigan International Speedway and Richmond Raceway. With the two wins and a ninth-place points finish in the regular season he qualified for the NASCAR Playoffs. However, he had a rough showing in the Round of 16 and was eliminated after collecting two DNFs in the first two playoff races.

Harvick has won at every track except those introduced in the last five seasons which include the Circuit of the Americas, World Wide Technology Raceway, Nashville Superspeedway, the Indianapolis Road Course and the Charlotte Roval. 

Harvick started 19th at the inaugural Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum in 2022 after finishing second in his Last Chance Qualifying race. He finished 10th, climbing nine spots in the tight 150-lap main event.

Will he be able to start off on the right foot in his final full-time Cup season with a solid run at the 2023 Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum?