Kevin Harvick will be pushing 50 before he retires from full-time NASCAR Cup racing, reporters learned Saturday during a question-and-answer with the driver of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang.
A two-year extension will keep the 2014 Cup champion in the car through the 2023 season. Harvick turned 44 on Dec. 8.
Until recently, conventional wisdom had Harvick migrating to the television booth after his driving career. The desire for more family time and curiosity about NASCAR’s Next-Gen Cup car, however, have prompted a cutback in Harvick’s broadcasting schedule, including his exit from his Wednesday show “Happy Hours” broadcast on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
“There are a number of things that went into those decisions,” Harvick said on Saturday in the Daytona International Speedway Media Center, site of Sunday’s Busch Clash (3 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). “First and foremost, Wednesday’s just don’t work very well for me with (son) Keelan, with picking him up from school and going to events and activities and things after school.
“He didn’t really like it. It frees up another day for me. That was a piece of the equation. The other piece was that in order to do that stuff right, it isn’t just the show. It is the production meetings and the time, and you have things coming up from a development standpoint that are going to take a lot of time at the end of the year to get prepared for 2021 from a testing standpoint.”
The new Cup car is an enticing proposition for Harvick, but that doesn’t mean he will abandon his broadcasting plans indefinitely.
“For me, I am intrigued by that (breaking in the new car),” Harvick said. “For me, that will keep me in the car for a few more years as we go through 2023, and then we will see where we are at. That timing works well for me from a media standpoint, just because of the fact that you have a TV contract coming up (at the end of 2024) and will know who the players are, and I think at that particular point you will have a fair amount of experience in the new car and will hopefully have been through the engine change, the vehicle change.
“There were a number of things that go along with that. I just really like racing with a group of guys and my organization that I am at. I worked my whole career, and feel like I got here with a group of guys and the people that I have had success with and for me, going through a few more years in the car just made sense.”
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