“It Got Me”- Even “Happy” Harvick Gets Caught up in Whirlwind of Emotions During Retirement Week

Published 11/09/2023, 12:11 AM EST

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He might not have won a race in his last season in NASCAR, but Kevin Harvick got a farewell to remember. From getting a standing ovation from every single driver on the track to having his kids express their love and support before the race, the scenes were surely emotional. Harvick has never been one to show his emotional side in public, but even he could not hold his feelings back as the curtains finally drew on what has been a storied career.

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Kevin Harvick was thrust into the Cup Series picture in the most daunting of ways back in 2001. The then 26-year-old driver was picked to replace the legendary Dale Earnhardt after his tragic passing due to a crash in the first race of that season. Ever since taking on the challenge, Harvick has not looked back. And today, he is one of the greatest drivers of his generation.

Kevin Harvick honors the people he worked with in his career

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The 47-year-old racing maestro does not come from an extensive racing background. He and his parents had to struggle and compromise quite a bit to get his career set in racing. It is safe to say that their struggles paid off. When Harvick reached the highest stage in NASCAR, he saw that members of his team were making similar sacrifices so that the #4 could be as fast as possible on the track.

That is what got the 47-year-old all emotional. On a recent episode of The Dale Jr. Download podcast, Kevin Harvick revealed how his team’s efforts over the years and the experiences they have shared broke through his perceived hard personality. It was with Stewart-Haas Racing that he won his only Cup Series title almost 10 years ago. They have been through years and years of hard work and experienced the highs and lows together.

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“You go back and you start thinking about all those things and all the great moments and it’s really…it’s an emotion of happiness and fulfillment of all the things that you’ve done,” the 47-year-old said.

“For that last week of the season, for me, it was about those people on your team because I care about the people, because those people make it all go round and they’ve sacrificed time and relationships and everything that they do so that car can go faster around the race track. And I just appreciate that and I appreciate the things that go with the sacrifices that it makes because we’ve all made sacrifices and then you get around a group of people that are making those same sacrifices for you and it just…it got me,” he added.

Kevin Harvick had built this personality over the years, which gave the impression that he was one of the toughest out there. No emotions were shown publicly and he always maintained a hard demeanor. The former driver of the #4 finally broke character in his last week as a NASCAR driver.

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‘The Closer’ finally breaks character in his final race weekend

The 47-year-old candidly admitted that despite his on-track demeanor over the years, he was an emotional man who cared quite a bit about the people around him. Well, that clearly showed on Sunday as he said his final goodbye to the sport.

“I think the hard work is something that people recognize, but I’ll also, as you guys have seen through the week, I’m a pretty emotional person. I’ve just done a really good job of hiding that through the years to make you think I’m super tough. But I’m really not,” Harvick said.

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“I love people; I care about people. It’s been a lot of fun to get to know a lot of the drivers and crew chiefs and just people in NASCAR racing. It’s been so much fun to tell a story about the last 30 years of my career this year. I think everybody’s done a great job, and I can’t thank them enough,” he added.

Kevin Harvick’s career is one to look up to, and he is loved and respected by every single motorsport fan who knows about his achievements. It will be weird not seeing him on track next year, but we wish him a happy retirement!

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Written by:

Nilavro Ghosh

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