NASCAR: Kevin Harvick announcement imminent?

Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

Kevin Harvick is set for his 23rd season in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2023. Without a contract for 2024, will he decide that it is his last?

Kevin Harvick signed a multi-year contract extension with Stewart-Haas Racing ahead of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season, keeping him behind the wheel of the No. 4 Ford through 2023.

Interestingly, the 47-year-old Bakersfield, California native admitted last offseason that the initial plan was for him to retire at the end of the 2021 season.

Entering 2023, he is the oldest full-time driver remaining in the sport, and following Kurt Busch’s retirement, nobody has competed for longer.

Earlier this offseason, Harvick stated that he simply didn’t know whether or not he would decide to retire after the 2023 season or return for another year in 2024.

But a recent image has led many to believe that he might have already made up his mind.

Several individuals pointed out the fact that there was a “4ever” patch on his fire suit in a photo that was recently shared on Instagram, which led to speculation that this is set to be Harvick’s final season.

In 2015 during his final season of full-time Cup Series competition, Jeff Gordon’s use of “24ever” was a part of his farewell tour, and this “4ever” patch has justifiably reminded many of that.

This picture was later deleted, which, of course, will only further fuel speculation that it is significant in terms of Harvick’s decision.

If that is indeed what it indicates, as additional sources are now reporting, then there is little reason to believe that the wait for an announcement will be much longer.

Considering the fact that the “4ever” is evidently on Harvick’s fire suit and drivers’ fire suits are visible to just about everybody during race weekends, one would think that his decision would be known before the season begins.

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

Of course, absolutely nothing is confirmed, and it never is in NASCAR until it comes directly from the source, which would be Kevin Harvick himself.

Maybe the “4ever” means he’s sticking around forever and has no plans to retire. Maybe he did plan to retire but now plans to change his mind after this image got out and made everybody think he was going to retire.

Maybe he plans to change his mind mid-season like his teammate did last year. Or maybe he plans on pulling a Tom Brady — legitimately retiring after the 2023 season and then coming back in time for the 2024 season, without actually missing any time.

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Who knows? But if the 2023 season is indeed the 23rd and final season for the 2014 champion and 60-time race winner, we will surely find out when he wants us to find out.