NASCAR: Strategic decision hints Kevin Harvick’s future plans

Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images) /

Fox Sports’ decision not to add a third full-time analyst to the NASCAR booth for the 2023 season could mean that Kevin Harvick is poised to join the team in 2024.

Kevin Harvick recently confirmed the rumors, announcing that the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season, his 10th season with Stewart-Haas Racing, is set to be his 23rd and final season of Cup Series competition.

The 47-year-old Bakersfield, California native has missed just one start, a race for which he was suspended, since taking over for Dale Earnhardt at Richard Childress Racing in 2001, just one week after Earnhardt was killed in a crash on the final lap of the Daytona 500.

Beyond his final year behind the wheel of the No. 4 Ford, Harvick’s plans are not set in stone, but there is one landing spot that everybody continues to link him to.

Considering a recent strategic move made by that organization, all signs point to the 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion making the move.

After Jeff Gordon left the Fox Sports booth following the network’s portion of the 2021 schedule to focus on his new role as Vice Chairman of Hendrick Motorsports, Fox opted not to replace him with a full-time analyst alongside lead announcer Mike Joy and color commentator Clint Bowyer.

Instead, Fox called upon a number of individuals to join Joy and Bowyer throughout their portion of the 2022 schedule, including former drivers Danica Patrick, Matt Kenseth, and Tony Stewart, among several others.

Given the fact that Gordon stepped away in June 2021, Fox had more than enough time to figure something out for 2023, considering they are sticking with a three-person booth instead of reverting to the two-person booth they used in 2020 following Darrell Waltrip’s retirement.

Instead, they opted to take the same approach they took in 2022.

The move means that nobody is committed to the third spot in the booth for the 2024 season, which means that Kevin Harvick could slide right in.

Harvick’s natural ability as an announcer has been demonstrated on multiple occasions in years past, thanks to his sporadic appearances in the booth for Truck Series and Xfinity Series races. He has long been seen as the kind of driver who would fit in perfectly to a broadcast booth following his driving career.

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Confirmation hasn’t yet been made by Harvick or Fox, but all signs seem to indicate that he is set to join Joy and former Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Bowyer in the booth for the network’s portion of the 2024 schedule, and likely beyond.