Kevin Harvick just provided some major insight about his NASCAR Cup Series career. He revealed that he considered retiring after the 2021 season but made the decision to continue racing until 2023 based on the existing broadcast deal.
The 2014 Cup Series champion provided the insight during his appearance on “The Dale Jr. Download.” He sat down with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and discussed a wide range of topics, including his decision to extend his contract with Stewart-Haas Racing. Harvick explained that there were multiple factors that played into this move, but the reset of the broadcast deal for the 2025 season had a big role.
“That was 100% a part of the conversation because also the broadcast deals are up in ,” Harvick said during the November 30 episode. “We’ve got  and . And it adds another layer of the conversation because of the fact that you’re so relevant in the new car, being on the racetrack.
“You’re part of the conversation of where the race tracks are going, where we’re racing, what we’re doing — short tracks, road courses — whatever it is. I think quitting in  would have put you in this weird window for that. There were so many other things that were intriguing from a driver standpoint that it timed out better to talk about being done in .”
Harvick’s Crew Chief Also Played a Role In His Return
The upcoming broadcast deal between NASCAR and its partners in FOX and NBC played a role in Harvick’s return, but it wasn’t the only factor. Crew chief Rodney Childers signing a contract extension with SHR also had an impact on Harvick’s decision.
The championship-winning crew chief announced on September 19 that he had inked a multi-year extension with SHR. He didn’t hold a press conference or speak to media members. Childers just simply acknowledged his extension with a tweet about gratitude.
“Been thinking all day, there is always a lot of things I could complain about. But I’m really fortunate. This past Wednesday I was able to re-sign with [Stewart-Haas Racing] for years to come. Then a few days later almost went to victory lane. Then today enjoyed my family,” Childers tweeted.
Childers and Harvick have been together since the 2014 season, Harvick’s first with SHR. They achieved immediate success together with five wins in the first year, as well as the Cup Series championship. They also combined for a nine-win season in 2020.
“If he had said that he was done at the end of , I would have probably just been done too,” Harvick told Earnhardt. “You know, learning the ins and outs of the people… the people, as in any business, are the most important thing that you have.
“For me, I worked my whole career to be in a position where you’re like, ‘ok, I believe in all of the people.’ I don’t need to worry about those guys showing up and not giving 100% today and not knowing what’s going on. They gave everything they had to get to this point.”
Harvick Will Provide More Insight in 2022
The sitdown with Harvick and Earnhardt was a prominent part of a podcast episode lasting more than three hours. They covered a variety of topics, including their strained history and Harvick taking over as a Cup Series driver after Dale Earnhardt’s death in 2001.
While this discussion provided a staggering number of revelations, there were still many things left unsaid. Fortunately, Harvick and Earnhardt are taking steps to provide even more fascinating conversations in the future.
A key part of the conversation on “The Dale Jr. Download” was that Harvick and Earnhardt want to be friends again. They took some major steps with the first episode and then agreed to sit down once again. Earnhardt suggested another episode in early 2022, to which Harvick replied that he doesn’t want to be a stranger.