Kevin Harvick, who is 46 years old, is “rumoured” to be thinking about retiring and finding a nice way to leave NASCAR motorsport, but victory keeps him going.
When Harvick accumulated a 65-race unbeaten streak over the previous two years, it was widely believed that the greatest of his Cup Series career had passed.
However, in just eight days, Harvick has accomplished what he has achieved countless times before: he has categorically disproved his doubters and has enjoyed every second of it.
With his triumph in Michigan previous weekend, Harvick not only broke his losing run and earned a playoff spot, but on Sunday he got another triumph at Richmond for good measure.
With his 60th career victory on Sunday, he became one of just 10 racers in series history to reach that milestone.
The Bakersfield, California native’s second career Cup victory has abruptly replaced talk of retirement.
“A lot of the guys that I grew up racing with, they’re all retired and doing other things, but I get to still see them,” Harvick said. “It’s those quiet high-fives that are a lot of fun and kind of keep it in perspective for me because of the fact that you’re older and supposed to be done and kind of headed down a path that is toward the end.
“I’ve always prided myself in trying to be competitive and do what it takes to be competitive and make the sacrifices that it takes to be competitive. But I do enjoy it. There’s nothing better than winning. That’s what we do.
“I don’t know how to really put it all into perspective because it’s just not something that I just stop and really ever look at. I never really stop and say, ‘Where are all those 60 wins?’ ”
When Harvick does retire from motorsport, he will have a lot of time to reflect, especially because he will undoubtedly be elected to the Hall of Fame on the first vote.
But because you still have a tonne of chances to succeed, why look back now? When you’re still setting new career milestones, it’s challenging to look back on your journey.
“You can look at all that stuff when it’s over, and if you gave it all you had, hopefully you can be successful,” Harvick said. “We have a group of people that have a lot in common on our team, very similar in age, a lot of them have kids, and for whatever reason, that has all meshed.
“It’s just this constant communication and we don’t ever talk about how cool it was two wins ago. We’ll talk about how great it was to win this week and then it’ll be, ‘All right, see you Wednesday.’
“Maybe sometimes I need to just stop and kind of take it all in, but I don’t know, I always feel like it’s bragging when you stop and talk about yourself. The perspective of what has happened is really not something that I stop and say, ‘That was pretty cool.’
“I thought it was cool that I could put my little girl in the car last week and we could do stuff like that. Those are the things that I think are neat right now.”
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