Kevin Harvick’s one closing drive at Daytona 500
FOX Sports Insider
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Kevin Harvick has spent his whole racing profession with success depending on making the best determination within the fraction of a second.
He’s completed it effectively, and with out that trait he would not be right here, with one closing Daytona 500 (Sunday, 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports App) approaching, and a 2007 victory within the Great American Race and two NASCAR Cup Series titles stashed on his resume.
But when it got here to the minor matter of selecting what the remainder of his life would seem like, and deciding on the exact second when it might start, Harvick wanted extra time. And whereas racers so usually can solely make means for one voice — their very own interior one — the 47-year-old’s retirement planning got here solely after looking for knowledgeable opinion.
Harvick will likely be completed on the finish of this season, earlier than throwing himself into an array of recent initiatives, headlined by a spot within the FOX commentary sales space and likewise together with enterprise, administration and funding alternatives, plus the fledgling racing profession of 10-year-old son Keelan.
[Kevin Harvick joining FOX Sports broadcast booth for Cup Series in 2024]
He thought lengthy and onerous over what to do and when to do it, however finally the smart phrases of former New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies baseball supervisor Joe Girardi, a detailed private good friend, caught with him.
“Joe was very open with his advice and his time,” Harvick advised me this week. “He was very clear on this — you can’t just sit around and play golf. He knows me. Racing has consumed my entire mindset for 30 years. This was about being able to step outside that and be comfortable with it.
“He advised me that I ought to solely do it, and go forward and retire, if you’re prepared for it. There are solely so many rounds of golf and so many holidays you’ll be able to go on. There is rather a lot that goes into it. It takes over a lot. NASCAR is much like baseball in that we see numerous motion, numerous competitors, and also you by no means actually get to step away from it. Which means you want some issues to interchange it with, in any other case there’s a big void.”
Whether it be 162 games or a stock car season spanning February to November, Girardi and Harvick are no stranger to years of long, relentless years of sporting activity.
Harvick is organized and intensely competitive — Dale Earnhardt jokes that he will be looking to settle some scores on the track in his final season and Harvick didn’t necessarily disagree.
Now he’s trying ahead to being just a little extra spontaneous.
“As a driver your yr is just about deliberate out,” he added. “I’m trying ahead to with the ability to make some choices extra on the fly. It was a course of to get there. I had numerous issues going round in my thoughts. I acquired to a degree once I knew the time and the state of affairs was proper and that is it. Now I need to make my mark within the final season.”
Harvick becoming a member of the sales space
Kevin Harvick proclaims he will likely be taking a broadcast analyst place with the FOX Sports NASCAR crew after he retires this season.
Harvick will drive the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Ford on Sunday, and is +2500 with FOX Bet in what’s seen as a wide-open contest. Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott are the bookies’ favorites, every at +1200.
He has continuously run effectively within the 500, with a pair of second-place finishes in 2009 and 2015, and a fourth-place spot as just lately as 2021.
He understands that this one will really feel totally different, and it is just making him extra decided to shine. Perhaps greater than ever — possibly making ready for his broadcasting profession — he is ready to look from outdoors in and see the gravity of what this weekend means to a wider viewers.
“The Super Bowl is over,” he stated. “Baseball hasn’t started yet, the World Cup is over. It feels like America is ready for Daytona. And I’m ready for this race, one more time.
Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports and the author of the FOX Sports Insider newsletter. Follow him on Twitter @MRogersFOX and subscribe to the daily newsletter.
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