By JENNA FRYER
AP Auto Racing Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kevin Harvick won’t spend a single day in retirement when his NASCAR driving days are over: Fox said Sunday it has hired Harvick for its broadcast booth next season.
Harvick announced last month that he will retire from NASCAR competition at the end of the 2023 season.
He will then transition into a broadcast roll for Fox, which has used Harvick regularly as a guest analyst since 2015. He is scheduled to call four Xfinity Series and three Truck Series races this year for FS1, and next season he will join Mike Joy and Clint Bowyer for Fox’s entire portion of the Cup schedule.
“I knew that this was something that I wanted to do because it gives you such a unique position to be able to talk about the sport and be able to use your knowledge and relationships to be able to give the fans and people a great perspective,” Harvick told The Associated Press.
“This has really been a conversation that’s been happening for several years, the timing just was never really right. Now it’s all worked out and it’s a great time to be able to transition and have a voice in the sport and remain a part of NASCAR racing on a weekly basis and talk about the things I love.”
Harvick was the centerpiece of Fox’s “Drivers Only” broadcasts that began in 2015. The network began using a combination of active drivers and crew chiefs to call lower-level races and Harvick, who has called more than 25 races for the network, was a natural fit from the very beginning.
He is so steady in the booth that many predicted Harvick would develop into a play-by-play announcer and lead a broadcast team. Harvick, who is beginning his 23rd Cup season, is the 2014 Cup champion and is tied for ninth on NASCAR’s all-time wins list with 60 career victories.
Harvick has 13 consecutive playoff appearances.
“The credibility is off the charts. His longevity in NASCAR will only help him explain to the viewers the evolution the sport has taken,” Fox Sports executive producer Brad Zager said. “For him, that next step of being in the booth is something that’s almost been fait accompli since he first stepped into the booth with us.”
Zager said the network had to do very little to prepare Harvick for the booth.
“We never want to try to convince somebody they should be a broadcaster, and with Harvick, we didn’t have to,” Zager said. “He is someone who has a passion for it already. We’re very excited about everything that he brings, and we think he will be the perfect third man for Clint and Mike with his style, his personality and his credibility.”
Fox primarily has been a two-man booth since Jeff Gordon stepped down at the end of the 2021 season. The network used guests in place of Gordon but has been content waiting for the right person to fill the role full-time.
For Harvick, it will be his third different job as a co-worker with Bowyer.
The two were teammates at Richard Childress Racing early in their career, were reunited at Stewart-Haas Racing and in 2024 will be side-by-side as Fox analysts.
“We obviously have totally different approaches in the things that we do and say, and I think that makes it fun,” Harvick said. “Clint and I became good friends over the years, and we have a good relationship, but we’ve never been able to have a relationship outside the car that’s not been competitive.”
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