Kevin Harvick announces upcoming retirement from NASCAR

The Bakersfield native will race the 2023 season before stepping away from career in NASCAR that has spanned over two decades.

Bakersfield native Kevin Harvick is retiring from NASCAR after over two decades in American stock car racing’s top circuit. 

Harvick announced Thursday that he will end his career after the 2023 NASCAR season, which is slated to run from February to November. 


The big picture: Harvick was thrust onto the scene as a rookie following the tragic and sudden death of Dale Earnhardt during the 2001 Daytona 500, when Richard Childress Racing called him up to replace the iconic black No. 3 car that Earnhardt famously drove. 

  • Just three races into his young career, Harvick beat Jeff Gordon by 0.006 seconds at Atlanta Motor Speedway to earn his first win. He would go on to be named the NASCAR Rookie of the Year in 2001. 
  • Harvick is a 60-time winner in the NASCAR Cup Series, and he rose to the top of the sport when he won the 2014 Cup championship. 

What they’re saying: “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,” Harvick said in a statement. “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.”

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