Despite persistent rumors that he would withdraw at any moment, NASCAR Cup Series racer Kevin Harvick stated he had no intention to retire anytime soon.
Stewart-Haas Racing reported in February 2020 that Harvick had signed to a two-year new contract that would keep him driving the No. 4 Ford through the 2023 season.
Harvick’s impending departure is often discussed, mostly because to his present 50-race scoreless run and his age — 46.
“I like where I race. I like Stewart-Haas Racing. I like the atmosphere. I like the people here. That’s really the biggest reason that I like to do it, especially this year,” he said. “You’re with a group of people where you’re constantly problem-solving.
“You’re trying to fix it faster than everybody else and come to something that is better than everybody else so you can win races. I like the core group of guys that I started here with. That’s why they all came here, and I guess I would feel like I’m abandoning them if I didn’t go a couple more years.
“For me, I still enjoy that challenge. I enjoy where this series is, and learning about the new car is not a bad thing to do as you go forward into the future and do something different.”
On Sunday, Harvick came close to ending his scoreless streak at Richmond (Va.) Raceway, placing second to championship winner Denny Hamlin. Harvick’s highest result since finishing second in the Bristol Night Race in September 2021.
SHR failed for much of the 2021 season, but has made significant progress in the first 7 races of this year, with second-year racer Chase Briscoe winning for the first time in his career at Phoenix.
The introduction of the Next Gen car to the Cup Series has posed a slew of new hurdles for crews as well as drivers like Harvick, who have spent through their whole career racing a stock car with significantly different technology.
“We’ve put in a lot of time this year – the simulator, we’ve been to two tests so far. We knew coming into this year that we had some habits we were going to have to break, thought processes that you were going to have to break to really understand this car,” Harvick said.
“I think we’ve done a pretty good job of that with all the adversity we’ve gone through so far this year. That’s going to be our aggressive process until we get to Victory Lane.”
Harvick is unsure what to anticipate at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway this weekend.
Harvick claimed the half-mile flat oval still “frustrating” despite his victories in all three largest series – Cup, Xfinity, and Trucks.
“Look, I’ve done this a long time, and there’s really not going to be a race track that I go to that I don’t leave thinking that I could’ve done better. Martinsville is the one I leave thinking that probably more often than some of the others,” he said.
“But it’s going to be the exact same as any other race track when I get to Monday – it’s just going to be in the past and I’m not going to think about it. It’s been a race track where you just never know what’s going to happen.
“I have no idea how we’ve won there, but we have. It’s just one of those places that’s frustrating. Even on a day when you do well, you just leave there with your wires crossed.”
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