Stewart-Haas Racing driver and NASCAR veteran, Kevin Harvick is one driver that is going to be missed by fans of the sport regardless of whether they supported the now 47-year-old throughout his career or not. After the news of the #4 Ford Mustang driver's retirement from the highest echelon of the sport became official last month, many have been talking about the prospective drivers that could replace 'Happy Harvick's' absence in NASCAR.
Having made his debut over twenty years ago, Harvick has served as a role model for multiple generations of drivers to look up to, as well as had support from multiple generations of fans. From old-school, die-hard followers to newer fans, the Bakersfield, California native's untamed personality was always loved by fans.
Just before Harvick's retirement news was out in public, news about his future as an entrepreneur also broke, with the Stewart-Haas racing driver being one of the major stakeholders in purchasing the CARS Tour, a late-model asphalt racing series. With his departure imminent after the 2023 Cup Series season, many fans are looking forward to who could replace Kevin Harvick and his spot at SHR. The following are some noteworthy additions to the list:
#4 Zane Smith
NASCAR Truck Series driver Zane Smith has been one of the many noteworthy talents in the junior series of the sport and could be a possible candidate to replace Kevin Harvick due to his ties with the Ford brand.
#3 Harrison Burton
22-year-old Harrison Burton is also a viable candidate for a seat at SHR due to his current experience in the Cup Series, as well as ties to Ford as a manufacturer in the sport. He currently drives for Wood Brothers Racing.
#2 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Driving for JTG Daugherty Racing, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is often seen as a great talent in an underfunded team and could be a candidate for a cross-manufacturer switch from Chevrolet to Ford at Stewart-Haas Racing.
#1 Cole Custer
Cole Custer's experience in the highest echelon of the sport, coupled with his long-term affiliation with Ford, could also play a role in him replacing Kevin Harvick in 2024.
Kevin Harvick's crew chief is looking forward to the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season with the #4 Ford driver
Rodney Childers and Kevin Harvick are a duo that holds the record for the longest driver-crew chief pairing in the sport, and for good measure. The duo, who have seen the highs and lows of the sport together, have been an unstoppable force at times.
Commemorating Harvick's last season in NASCAR, Childers took to Twitter to express his feelings, writing:
"This year is going to be fun, emotionally draining at times, and a lot of smiles. I can’t wait to enjoy this with @KevinHarvick and this team."
See the tweet below: