By David Morgan, Associate Editor
AVONDALE, Ariz. – When the checkered flag waves on Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series championship finale at Phoenix Raceway, it will mark the end of one chapter for Kevin Harvick and the start of another.
After hanging up the helmet this weekend, Harvick will be moving into the TV booth in 2024 to join the NASCAR on FOX broadcast team during the first half of the season.
Barring a win on Sunday, Harvick will leave with an impressive resume with 60 wins to his name since climbing behind the wheel in 2001, with victories in marquee races along the way, including the Daytona 500, Coca-Cola 600, Southern 500, and Brickyard 400.
He was also the first champion in the current elimination Playoff format in 2014, scoring the title in his first year with Stewart-Haas Racing. In addition, Harvick can also lay claim to two Xfinity Series championships in 2001 and 2006.
“It’s been a great ride and I think for me it’s something that I love to do and I think as you look back on it and realize all the things that you’ve been able to be a part of and be fortunate to be somewhat successful at, it’s been fun,” Harvick said.
“Obviously, I’m not going far. I guess I’ll just be sitting on the other side of the table asking the questions, but it’s been a great ride.”
As he visits each track for the final time this season, Harvick has been getting all of the much-warranted accolades thrown his way, but admitted now that the end is really here, the weekend at Phoenix certainly feels different knowing it’s really his final race.
Harvick explained that as the as the end of the season closed in, he leaned Dale Earnhardt, Jr. for some advice as Earnhardt went through a similar transition when he retired in 2017 and moved into the TV booth for NBC the following year.
“I think this week has been definitely different than everything leading up to this just because of the fact that there isn’t a next week,” Harvick said. “There’s been a next week up until this week. Look, it’s very different – the things that we have to do going forward, but it’s all planned out.
“I talked to Dale Jr., he was in a very similar situation where the TV piece of it was planned out. The race team piece of it is planned out. We have a management company. We have golf cart stores. All of those things are already functioning. I think it would be much different if you weren’t closing the…