“He is a unicorn driver”: Denny Hamlin touches on Kevin Harvick’s lasting legacy in NASCAR

NASCAR Cup Series Championship
NASCAR Cup Series Championship

The recently concluded NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race at Phoenix Raceway marked the end of Kevin Harvick’s glorious 23-year-long career in NASCAR’s top-level series. Harvick said at the beginning of the season that he would retire at the end and that he would join the Fox Sports broadcast booth of the Cup Series in 2024.

The 47-year-old closed his full-time NASCAR racing career with a seventh-place finish and a few tears. It was an emotional day for him and his family. Even though he retired from the sport, he will forever be remembered as one of the greatest NASCAR Cup Series drivers.

On the latest episode of the Actions Detrimental podcast, Harvick’s fellow driver, Denny Hamlin, called him “unicorn” before paying tribute to him.

“He is a unicorn driver to sustain the level of performance — it’s just unbelievable. You can’t list all of his accomplishments. It’s just, you know he was a team owner, he was a guy that if he raced on Saturday in the Xfinity Series, he was gonna win. He had a truck team. He gave so much back to the sport on and off the racetrack. Gave a lot to the drivers and was a great leader for the drivers. I think it will be a substantial loss for the series, “ Hamlin said as quoted by on3.com.

Kevin Harvick reflects on his Hall of Fame career

In an over two-decade-long career, Kevin Harvick earned 121 career victories, 767 top-10 finishes, 60 poles, and clinched the 2014 Cup Series championship. He will be eligible for the NASCAR Hall of Fame starting in 2026.

After the Phoenix race, Harvick said about his career:

“I opened this chapter unexpectedly in 2001, and closed it in 2023 how we wanted to. And that was to be competitive. The thing that means the most is just having the respect of the drivers and competitors and the crew chiefs, my team and organization, and all the past people that I worked for or worked with. There's been so many great stories and things that have happened over this year, but especially this week,” Harvick said as quoted by cbssports.com.

Kevin Harvick had an outstanding season, registering six top-5 and 12 top-10 finishes in 36 races. He finished 13th in the final championship standings with 2241 points.

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Edited by Yash Soni