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Former cup champion Kevin Harvick Thursday morning introduced his retirement after this season.

“There may be nothing else on the earth that I take pleasure in greater than going to the racetrack, and I’m genuinely wanting ahead to this season,” Harvick mentioned in an announcement. “However because the years glided by, I knew there would come a day once I needed to decide. When was it time to get away from the automobile?

“I seemed up folks and picked their minds. Once I requested them after they knew it was the suitable time, they mentioned it might simply occur, and you’d notice this was the suitable second. You’ll make a plan and resolve when your ultimate yr is.

“It was undoubtedly onerous to know when that was the suitable second as a result of we have been so fortunate to work so nicely. However generally there are different issues that occur that grow to be extra essential, and for me, it is about time.”

Harvick, father of 10-year-old Kellan and 5-year-old Piper, is wanting ahead to spending further time along with his youngsters and spouse, Dilana.

“Final yr, I believe I noticed Kellan race 3 times whereas he was in Europe,” mentioned Harvick, who’s within the ultimate yr of his contract at Stewart-Haas Racing. “I’m going to the go-kart monitor with Piper and he or she takes twice as many steps in a day whereas I am there than she does on a day I am not there. It takes numerous time to manage the extent of racing they’re doing, and being round that’s essential to me.”

Harvick, 47, is coming into his twenty third and ultimate Cup season having gained the 2014 collection championship and 60 races, which tie him with Kyle Bush For ninth on the all-time listing. Harvick can be a two-time Xfinity Sequence Champion.

He has gained no less than one cup race in 18 seasons. Twenty-nine of Harvick’s 60 profession Cup victories have been achieved since turning 40.

Amongst his wins are the 2007 Daytona 500, two Coca-Cola 600s, two Southern 500s, and three Brickyard 400s on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval.

“With championships throughout a number of NASCAR collection and complete NASCAR Cup Sequence wins rating throughout the prime 10, Kevin Harvick’s legacy as one of many biggest drivers of all time is safe,” NASCAR President Steve Phelps mentioned in an announcement.

“Along with his success inside a race automobile, Kevin is a pacesetter who actually cares in regards to the well being and way forward for our sport – a ardour that can proceed lengthy after his driving days are over. On behalf of the France household and all of NASCAR, I congratulate Kevin on a improbable profession and need him all the most effective in his ultimate season.”

Harvick made his Xfinity debut in 1999, operating one race for Richard Childress Racing. He ran the whole season in 2000. He was scheduled to run the whole Xfinity season in 2001 and choose cup races that yr earlier than Dale Earnhardt died on the final lap of the Daytona 500.

Automobile proprietor Richard Childress had Harvick drive for Earnhardt’s crew the remainder of the season, driving the white No. 29 as a substitute of the black No. 3 that Earnhardt was identified for. Harvick made an emotional win in Atlanta in his third profession Cup begin. He drove for RCR till 2013. He has been at Stewart-Haas Racing since 2014.

“I do know you do not like listening to that stuff, however you’re the flagship of SHR. By yourself, definitely, the best rider we have ever had,” Tony Stewart mentioned in a video tribute to Harvick.

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