Kevin Harvick’s new two-year contract with Stewart-Haas Racing until 2023 shows he still has plenty of racing on his plate.
Harvick may have a Championship title in his name in 2014, which was six years ago.
However, he’s always one of the frontrunners during his tenure with SHR except 2016 in 8th via the Drivers’ Leaderboard during the organization’s final year with Chevrolet power.
And the switch to Ford in 2017 kept him in fantastic shape ever since from the age of 41, now 44.
With the contract rumors put into bed, Harvick will look to deliver his and the organization’s 2nd Cup Championship this year.
If he can make this possible, then there’s always potential for 3rd, 4th & even 5th Cup titles by the time Harvick crosses the age of 48 at the end of his updated contract.
The 40s club statistics
So with Jimmie Johnson framing his helmet after this year at 45 years of age, Harvick will be one of the most experienced and oldest racer to lead the field in the modern day of NASCAR racing.
Some drivers still racing full-time will have entered in the 40s club by then:
- Jimmie Johnson, 44 at Hendrick Motorsports in the No.48 Chevy Camaro ZL1
- Kurt Busch, 41 at Chip Ganassi Racing in the No.1 Chevy Camaro ZL1
- Martin Truex Jr., 39 (will join by June 30) at Joe Gibbs Racing in the No.19 Toyota Camry
- Ryan Newman, 42 at Roush Fenway Racing in the No.6 Ford Mustang
- Clint Bowyer, 40 at Stewart-Haas Racing in the No.14 Ford Mustan
- J.J Yeley, 43 at Rick Ware Racing in the No.53 Ford Mustang or Chevy Camaro ZL1
Denny Hamlin isn’t on this list just yet as he’s still in the last 30s at 39, but he will be joining this club a week after the season finishes at Phoenix Speedway in Arizona.
Brendan Gaughan still also racing at 44 and will retire like Johnson after this year.
However, Gaughan will only compete at four Superspeedway events, so he does count as one of the 40s club at the top level but not from a full-time standpoint.
What he needs to do in 2020
Kevin Harvick will like to claim as many pole awards and wins at the same time this season.
It will be much useful for Harvick to stay ahead of the pack most of the time and have seen him achieve only four wins last year, mostly coming from the 2nd half of the schedule & none at all in the 1st half in comparison of eight in 2018.
Though the qualifying last year has improved to six pole awards from four in 2018, leaving a decent average at 8.5 from 8.8.
Yes, Harvick has played it late in adding as a significant threat to other competitors to steal his march in the season finale.
But also a mix of 1st and 2nd half-season wins will give Harvick the full ability to book his final place earlier than expected at Texas at least.
Then he’ll have to experiment what went wrong in the previous Championship 4 occasions before implementing the best racing he can to push on & win his 2nd Championship in Phoenix at season’s end.
That will be Harvick’s to-do list to tick all the boxes in his No.4 Ford Mustang for 2020.
When will he retire?
Harvick will want to keep racing as much as he can through the last half of his 40s.
Yes, he enjoyed working with FOX Sports’ NASCAR coverage in the booth for many occasions such as:
- Guest Analyst in the Xfinity Series booth & RaceHub
- Lead commentator for the Drivers’ Only XFINITY Series coverage
Even though Darrell Waltrip retired mid last year, Harvick still feels competing is always fun and isn’t finished on the track just yet.
So rule him out replacing DW and join both Jeff Gordon and Mike Joy in the FOX NASCAR booth for the Cup races.
What Harvick wanted to close the curtains in his illustrious racing career is enjoy the best time he wants in that new and improved multi-year deal.
After this contract expires & a 10-year stint at Tony Stewart’s organization in 2023, Harvick will then want to extend his time at SHR to one more year in 2024.
That way, Harvick will have the perfect opportunity to give his best shot for one last campaign before retiring at the same time as the current broadcast TV deal also expires in 2024.
Once Harvick retires from racing, he is free to join any TV broadcaster that retains or wins the next NASCAR TV deal from 2025 onwards.
It will give Harvick a safe pair of hands to stay at his current employer as long as he likes to end his racing career on a high note at the back end in the 40s club.
Then he has the all-clear to take on a new challenge & commentate upstairs for the right TV station at the right time.
That’s the goals Harvick will like to achieve both on and off the track in the next decade.