NASCAR: Kevin Harvick rumors spread after image leak

Kevin Harvick, NASCAR - Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Harvick, NASCAR - Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Fans’ discovery of a patch on Kevin Harvick’s fire suit has fueled speculation about his plans beyond the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season.

Kevin Harvick is set to enter his 23rd season as a full-time NASCAR Cup Series driver this year and his 10th with Stewart-Haas Racing behind the wheel of the No. 4 car. He does not have a contract to compete beyond 2023 after signing an extension just before the 2020 season began.

Harvick revealed last offseason that his initial plan was to retire after the 2021 season came to an end, but that obviously didn’t happen. However, the question that remained was whether or not he had already signed his final contract.

The 47-year-old Bakersfield, California native, who is now the oldest full-time driver in the sport and has been competing for longer than all other active drivers, entered the offseason not knowing what his future held, and he made clear that it could go either way.

But a recently shared photograph has many fans believing that he has indeed decided to retire after the 2023 season.

In this photograph, which was first posted on Instagram, Harvick is seen wearing his 2023 fire suit, with what appears to be a “4ever” patch next to the Rheem logo.

Right now, nothing is official, and this is all pure speculation. But as several fans have pointed out, this is somewhat reminiscent of Jeff Gordon’s “24ever” farewell tour during his final full season in the Cup Series in 2015, prompting speculation that perhaps a retirement announcement is coming from Harvick sooner rather than later.

This photo has since been deleted, which has, of course, only further fueled that speculation that it might mean what many think it means, just as you might have come to expect in this day and age.

If the 2023 season is his last and the “4ever” patch is meant to indicate that, then an announcement would pretty much have to be made before the start of the season, considering the fact that his fire suit would be visible to fans at all races.

This would certainly be a new take on the “announcement before the announcement” that has become quite common in NASCAR as of late, though whether it truly does mean anything along the lines of what many believe it does remains to be seen.

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The 2023 season is scheduled to get underway with the Busch Light Clash exhibition race at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Sunday, February 5, and the 65th annual Daytona 500 is officially scheduled to kick things off at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, February 19.