Possible Kevin Harvick replacements – Dark horse – Martin Truex Jr.
Martin Truex Jr. hasn’t been talked about nearly enough when it comes to Stewart-Haas Racing’s options to replace Kevin Harvick. Truex had hinted at retiring multiple times last year, but he decided to return for a fifth season behind the wheel of the No. 19 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing.
Truex is 42 years old, so it’s very possible that after an additional season, he decides to hang up his helmet. It’s also possible that he simply needs a change of scenery.
From 2016 to 2021, Truex had five seasons with at least four wins. From 2017 to 2021, he recorded four top two finishes in the championship standings, including his championship triumph in 2017. But from the start of 2022 until now, he has just one win in 51 starts.
Just look at Kyle Busch. His last three years at Joe Gibbs Racing were average at best, and after ending a 15-year run with the team to join Richard Childress Racing, he won in just his second start with his new organization.
Could Truex simply need a fresh start?
It’s very possible, and Stewart-Haas Racing could use a veteran presence such as him in their driver lineup. As state, not only is Harvick retiring, but Aric Almirola could also reportedly be considering the same. This is a team facing an identity crisis, and adding Truex could help add a sense of stability.
Sponsorship from Bass Pro Shops, which has a lengthy history with Tony Stewart, wouldn’t hurt either, especially facing the potential loss of Busch Light and possibly even Smithfield.