Stewart-Haas Racing Sets Up ‘Major Announcement’

Getty Kevin Harvick races at World Wide Technology Raceway.

Stewart-Haas Racing announced on June 21 that Josh Berry would replace Kevin Harvick in the No. 4 Ford Mustang in 2024, according to a NASCAR Cup Series press conference transcript released to the media.

In attendance at Charlotte Motor Speedway were team co-owner Tony Stewart, Chief Competition Officer Greg Zipadelli, crew chief Rodney Childers and Harvick, the 2014 Cup Series champion.

Matt Weaver of Sportsnaut had reported early on June 19 that SHR would hold a press conference to bring Berry, a KHI Management client, into the fold. This followed months of rumors about Berry’s future in the Cup Series.


A Previous Report Set the Stage for This Move

GettyKevin Harvick’s Ford sits on the grid at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

There had been conversations about Berry’s move to SHR over multiple months.

There were rumblings throughout the industry that an announcement would actually take place during Coca-Cola 600 weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Jordan Bianchi of The Athletic then dropped a story days prior to the Cup Series race saying that Berry and SHR were finalizing a contract.

The press conference did not take place prior to the Coca-Cola 600, but the expectation remained that Berry would ultimately replace Harvick in the No. 4 Ford Mustang as he paired with Childers. Now, SHR appears poised to make the official announcement.


Berry Has Continued Gaining Cup Series Experience

GettyJosh Berry (left) will partner with Rodney Childers.

The Tennessee native entered the 2023 Cup Series season with only two career starts at the top level of NASCAR. He took over the No. 77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet for two events in 2021.

That stat line has since changed as Berry has gained more experience while making select starts. He has replaced both Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman due to injuries early in the 2023 season.

Berry made five starts in the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro as Elliott recovered from a fractured tibia. Jordan Taylor took over for the race at Circuit of the Americas. Berry posted two top-10 finishes during this run, headlined by a runner-up at Richmond Raceway.

Berry then took over the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro for three points-paying races as Bowman recovered from a fractured tibia. He delivered a top-10 finish at Dover Motor Speedway before winning the All-Star Open and putting himself in the All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway.

With Berry now set to move up to the Cup Series on a full-time basis, he will join forces with one of the best crew chiefs in NASCAR. He will work with Childers, a man who has celebrated 40 Cup Series wins and one championship.

37 of Childers’ wins have been with Harvick behind the wheel of the No. 4 Ford Mustang. He also won two races with David Reutimann and one with Brian Vickers before joining forces with Harvick.

SHR has dealt with performance struggles during the Next Gen era. Though the No. 4 team has continued to perform at a high level.

Harvick’s ability behind the wheel plays a role, but Childers has developed a reputation for his ability to keep everything running at a high level. This will be crucial for Berry as he embarks upon his first full-time Cup Series season.

 

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