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) /
4 of 5
Martin Truex Jr., NASCAR
Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

Possible Kevin Harvick replacements: No. 4 – Martin Truex Jr.

Amid speculation that he might retire, Martin Truex Jr. made the decision in 2022 to return to the NASCAR Cup Series for another year at Joe Gibbs Racing in 2023. But he refused to commit to the team beyond 2024, noting that it had taken him six months just to decide on 2023.

Many have assumed that if Truex opts not to return to Joe Gibbs Racing for what would be a sixth season behind the wheel of the No. 19 Toyota, he would simply retire. However, he could also opt for a change of scenery.

After winning at least four races five times in a six-year span, Truex went winless in the opening season of the Gen 7 car last year. In fact, he didn’t finish a single race inside the top three, and he failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2014.

If he has another disappointing year in 2023, could he look for a ride elsewhere?

It may be questionable for Stewart-Haas Racing to replace a retiring Kevin Harvick with another driver in his 40s, one who is set to be 43 by the time the 2023 season ends.

But Truex has long been adamant that he competes simply because he wants to compete and he feels he is competitive, not because he feels obligated to do so. If he can back that up after a down year in 2022, the 2017 champion has no reason to stop.

Additionally, he is four and a half years younger than Harvick, so it’s not a sure thing that he would only be signing with Stewart-Haas Racing for just one or even two seasons.

Interestingly, longtime sponsor Bass Pro Shops also has a lengthy history with Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner Tony Stewart. So if a deal were to come to fruition, the sponsorship side of things shouldn’t be an issue, which is pretty significant in this day and age to say the very least.