The driver of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang has no plans on calling it quits anytime soon. Kevin Harvick has shut down questions about whether he will retire after the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season instead of finishing out his contract that lasts through the 2023 season.
The Closer provided the news in a pre-Martinsville release from Stewart-Haas Racing. He explained that there are multiple factors that make him want to continue suiting up for races in the Cup Series. Chief among them was the opportunity to continue working with great people.
“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,” Harvick explained in the release from SHR. “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.”
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Harvick Continues To Pursue His First Win of 2022
One reason why Harvick has faced these questions is simple — he hasn’t reached Victory Lane in nearly two years. He last won a race on September 19, 2020, at Bristol Motor Speedway. This win was his ninth of the 2020 season, and it bolstered his points lead entering the Round of 12.
Harvick hasn’t reached Victory Lane in 50 points-paying events, but he has come close. He finished second during the 2020 playoff race at Kansas Speedway, second during the 2021 regular-season race at Kansas Speedway, and second during the 2021 playoff race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Harvick also finished second during the 2022 race at Richmond Raceway, which kicked off the short-track swing of the schedule.
Harvick doesn’t have a significant amount of success at Martinsville Speedway, the next track on the schedule. He has made 41 starts with only 20 top-10 finishes, five top-fives, and one win (2011). He hasn’t cracked the top five since the 2018 spring race. However, Harvick has been putting in considerable effort to improve at the Paperclip.
“We’ve put in a lot of time this year — the simulator, we’ve been to two tests so far,” Harvick added in the pre-race release from SHR. “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, and I think we’ve done a pretty good job of that with all the adversity we’ve gone through so far this year. Martinsville will just be more of that same process, and that’s going to be our aggressive process until we get to victory lane.”
Harvick Brings Back a Partner With Strong Performances
Harvick will pursue his first win since the 2020 season at Martinsville Speedway, and he will showcase a partner with which he has achieved success. He will bring back the Subway scheme for the short-track race.
Harvick has made four starts with a Subway scheme since the company joined SHR in 2021. He showcased the scheme for playoff races at Bristol Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and Kansas Speedway in 2021. Harvick then brought back the Subway scheme for the return to Auto Club Speedway in 2022.
The Closer did not reach Victory Lane with Subway, but he scored crucial points. He posted top-10 finishes in every race with the company’s colors on the No. 4 Ford Mustang, and he posted a second-place finish at Bristol while battling Chase Elliott for position on the track and Kyle Larson for the win. Now he will try to continue this streak at Martinsville Speedway on April 9 (7:30 p.m. ET, FS1).