On the November 8th episode of the Dale Jr. Download, Kevin Harvick was the guest. During the nearly two-hour conversation, the 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion, who retired from full-time competition in the NASCAR Cup Series at the conclusion of the 2023 season, said that he will never race a NASCAR Cup Series race again, but that he is open to running events in other series.
“I’m not sure, yet. The door is open,” Harvick said when asked if he was open to driving race cars after this year. “I’m not going to drive Cup ever again. Never again.”
As for why he wouldn’t dip his toe into the NASCAR Cup Series again, Harvick feels that it’s nearly impossible to teeter in and out of the Cup Series and remain a competitive force.
“I just can’t be competitive. I can’t make myself go there and say, ‘I’m looking for a top-30 today.’ That’s what it would be,” Harvick explained. “I’m telling you. You’d be lucky to run 30th.”
As far as who he would drive for, and what he would possibly drive, Harvick is completely wide open as he has no ties to any specific manufacturer. His KHI Management late model and super late model program has been fielding Ford Mustang bodies as he was tied to Ford through his driving contract with Stewart-Haas Racing, but with his driving contract over with, Harvick isn’t bound to any manufacturer allegiance, and neither is his short track team.
“The late model teams in my mind were an asset for KHI Management. KHI Management will still function with the driver representation, sponsors, and all of the things that we do,” Harvick said. “To me, as I went to all of these late model races, and I’m like, ‘Man.’ It’s tough seeing your guys get into cars and do things that you don’t know anything about. So the theory is, okay we’re going to have the late model teams, the supers and late model stocks so that our clients can get in the cars, and we’ll use the cars for our clients or special events, like [Dale Jr.] did with Larson.
“If we need to put a Ford driver, or a Toyota driver in a CARS Tour race, then that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to take the nose off and put a Toyota on it, or we’ll put a Ford on it. I’ll be the guy that says, well Dale can’t do that, I can do that. And we’ll put them in our car.”
Toward the end of the topic, Harvick reiterated that he thinks he wants to drive something in 2024, but is not sure what. Harvick expressed that he wants to for sure run some grassroots events, or things that are fun.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. then asked him about the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series or NASCAR Xfinity Series, and Harvick said he would be open to it, but that he would refuse to do it in the pressure-packed fashion that Earnhardt has been running in the last few years in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Earnhardt has been fielding a fifth entry, the No. 88, for himself, but that car comes into the events with next to no owner points, which means Earnhardt has had to clock the car into the field on speed in qualifying.
“I’m not going to do it that way. No way. You’re brave man,” Harvick laughed.
Just because he’s retired from NASCAR Cup Series racing, don’t expect Harvick to never dawn a firesuit, helmet, and gloves again.