NASCAR: New Busch Light driver confirmed for when Kevin Harvick retires

Kevin Harvick, Busch Light, NASCAR - Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Harvick, Busch Light, NASCAR - Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Busch Light have confirmed who they will be sponsoring when the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series begins and Kevin Harvick has retired from the sport.

Busch Light has served as a primary sponsor of 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick’s No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing car for the last several seasons.

But the 47-year-old Bakersfield, California native is set to retire at the end of the 2023 season to join the Fox Sports broadcast booth on a full-time basis alongside lead announcer Mike Joy and analyst — and former Stewart-Haas Racing teammate — Clint Bowyer.

As a result, Busch had a decision to make.

Who, if anybody, would be replacing Kevin Harvick as the brewing company’s new NASCAR Cup Series driver?

That decision has been made, and it is one that many saw coming. Trackhouse Racing Team’s Ross Chastain, who had been rumored as the top candidate to replace Harvick as Busch Light’s new driver, is officially set to join forces with Busch next year.

It wasn’t exactly a well-kept secret.

Chastain was even once rumored to replace Harvick directly at Stewart-Haas Racing behind the wheel of the No. 4 Ford since his Trackhouse Racing Team contract was set to expire at the end of 2023.

He ended up signing a multi-year contract extension with the Justin Marks and Pitbull-owned team, and Busch Light is instead set to join his No. 1 team as a primary sponsor of the No. 1 Chevrolet, beginning in 2024. Josh Berry is set to replace Harvick at Stewart-Haas Racing.

The partnership makes sense on a number of levels, including but not limited to Chastain’s personality and the appeal he has to the same group of fans who have long cheered for Harvick.

“It means everything,” Chastain told Beyond the Flag. “It means that everything that I’ve worked for personally for 13 years, this is my 13th year in the sport, is all worth it. All the steps and the path to get here, this is exactly where I wanted to be.

“And now to partner with a group that has supported the sport of NASCAR for over 40 years, and all of the drivers who came before me, to think that I’m the next guy, to now know that I’m the next guy, it is absolutely an incredible feeling.”

Another advantageous element here is the fact that Chastain secured his long-term future with Trackhouse Racing Team before the season, giving Busch a pretty solid landing spot moving forward. That was certainly never a guarantee, following the retirement of an all-time great, but things have worked out.

“On the Kevin front, I don’t think personally that I’m looking to fill his shoes,” Chastain admitted. “He has his legacy. He has his path through the sport, and he’ll be an instant Hall of Famer, no doubt, and he’s still at the top of his game. He’s still maximizing his car, week in and week out, in the Cup Series, which is just so hard to do, and something that I’m constantly working to do.

“And he’s done it for so long, through so many generations of car, generations of the sport, and decades. I don’t think personally I’m looking to fill his shoes. I’m the next chapter for Busch Light, and this is the next chapter for me personally, and then Trackhouse. It’s an awesome time.”

Chastain has been a fan of Busch for several years, so the new deal just fits.

“I would say I first found Busch Light in, I would say probably 2019,” Chastain said. “Honestly, it became P1 in my chart and what I go to. I didn’t even know at the time how long the brand had been around.

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“When I found it, I didn’t know about it. I had not even paid attention to it before 2019. Just personally with some friends found it, and it’s been my number one ever since. I know it sounds cliche to say – and it’s not, it’s probably pretty hard for anybody to believe that – but this is my choice of beer. So it’s not a sell to me! Out of any beer, it is the number one. It’s been a few years.”