“Might Have Been in Big Trouble”: Kevin Harvick Reveals He Avoided Major Controversy in Retirement Announcement

Published 01/19/2023, 2:15 PM EST
Feb 16, 2022; Daytona, FL, USA; Feb 16, 2022; Daytona, FL, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick (4) talks to the press during Daytona 500 media day at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit:Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Harvick has been around for more than two decades in the Cup Series circuit. Earlier this month, the veteran announced his intent to retire from the sport at the end of the 2023 season. Recently, he joined Corey LaJoie and crew on the Stacking Pennies podcast to talk about his career and retirement decision.

Harvick explained that he had been planning on retirement for more than a year and did not want it to come as a shock to anybody. Further, he explained how it would have gone wrong had he not let his team know early on before the announcement.

What did Kevin Harvick say about his decision?


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During the podcast, the host, Corey LaJoie initiated the conversation by bringing up the point about Harvick’s intent to retire at the end of the season and move on to focus on his kids. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver went on to explain the things that had been going on behind the scenes and why he felt the need to inform his team beforehand.

The SHR driver stated, “As a business owner when I own teams, if I would have gone up on the stage and said, I’m done at the end of 23, and hadn’t told it to anybody. Might have been in big trouble. For us, this has really been a plan that has taken place for the last year and a half, and took a while to put it all together.”


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He made the best possible decision so that none of the stakeholders would get shell-shocked. The concerned parties, including Tony Stewart,  would have ample time on their hands to look after matters following Harvick’s eventual departure.

Why did Kevin Harvick decide to retire at the end of 2023?

Harvick has been racing full-time in the Cup Series for longer than everyone else. Furthermore, there was a lot of speculation doing the rounds regarding his eventual retirement. However, it was up to Harvick to decide when it was time for him to pull the plug on his career. And he had legitimate reasons to do so.


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Apr 3, 2022; Richmond, Virginia, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick (4) races during the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this year, the NASCAR veteran driver had mentioned that he always would prioritize his kids over anything else. With time, he realized that he would like to spend more time with his children, helping them build their racing careers. His son is already racing in Italy. Harvick felt that he should be with his children during their formative years and considered the time to be ideal for retirement.

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In the end, if it hadn’t been this year, Harvick would have eventually pulled the plug next year. It is better that he decided to do it ahead of the start of the season. There’s a lot ahead for Harvick to keep himself occupied with. Hopefully, he will find ways to keep himself just as busy even after retirement.



Srijan Mandal

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Srijan Mandal is a NASCAR author at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his Master’s in Journalism and has been writing for his own blog as well, covering NASCAR, F1, F2, W Series, MotoGP, DTM, IndyCar, WRC, and WEC. Following motorsports for more than a decade, he has become a devout supporter of McLaren Racing, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Bubba Wallace, Sir Lewis Hamilton, and Ayrton Senna.

Edited By: Nischal Kandpal