NASCAR: 5 possible replacements for Kevin Harvick

Kevin Harvick, NASCAR (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, NASCAR (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /
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Kevin Harvick is set to retire from the NASCAR Cup Series after the 2023 season. Who will replace him behind the wheel of the No. 4 Ford?

At 47 years of age, Kevin Harvick is older than all other full-time NASCAR Cup Series drivers, and following Kurt Busch’s retirement, he has been around the longest, having competed full-time in the sport since 2001.

The 2023 season is set be his 23rd season in the series and 10th behind the wheel of the No. 4 car for Stewart-Haas Racing, and he decided that it will be his last. Many believed that this decision was coming, since he didn’t have a contract to compete in 2024 and even admitted that his initial plan was to retire after the 2021 season.

Who will replace him in 2024? Here are five possibilities.

Possible Kevin Harvick replacements: No. 1 – Cole Custer

It wouldn’t be ideal for Stewart-Haas Racing at the moment, given the fact that Cole Custer was just demoted back to the NASCAR Xfinity Series after a relatively disappointing three-year run with the team in the Cup Series as the driver of the No. 41 Ford, but there are a few reasons why this could be a good move.

Bringing Custer back to the team for 2024 would perhaps bring a sense of familiarity and stability with the team losing Harvick, given how long he has been with the organization. There is a reason — other than the fact that his father Joe Custer is a team executive — why he was simply demoted and not released altogether. He has proven he is capable of running well.

Worth mentioning is also the fact that he was demoted in favor of a driver who was already in-house, as Ryan Preece, his replacement behind the wheel of the No. 41 Ford, signed as Stewart-Haas Racing’s reserve driver before the 2022 season. Bringing Custer back up to the Cup Series in 2024 would simply mean taking a similar approach.

Of course, this really all depends on how Custer performs in 2023. But if he does reestablish himself and gain some confidence back, there’s little reason for the team to look elsewhere.