Kevin Harvick‘s retirement tour will take him to a series that detractors like to call a retirement tour. On Tuesday, the Superstar Racing Experience announced Harvick will make his debut in the 2023 season opener at Stafford Motor Speedway on 13 July. He will also run the Berlin Raceway round on 3 August.
“NEWS: We’re happy,” begins SRX’s social media announcement. “Kevin Harvick will join SRX for the season opener at Stafford Speedway on July 13th and Berlin Raceway on August 3rd.”
Harvick is set for his twenty-fourth and final season as a full-time NASCAR Cup Series driver. The 2014 series champion has raced for Stewart-Haas Racing since said year; the team is co-owned by SRX operator and inaugural champion Tony Stewart.
The Stafford round takes place three days before the Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway approximately 225.308 kilometres away. Berlin and Michigan International Speedway are also roughly the same distance apart. Making scheduling easier is SRX’s move to Thursday nights as part of the series’ new broadcasting deal with ESPN, giving Harvick plenty of time to prepare for his main championship afterwards.
“I’ve watched the SRX Series the last couple of years and it looked like a lot of fun,” Harvick told ESPN’s Ryan McGee. “With the way the schedule worked out, it wasn’t very convenient with my schedule, but this year with it being on Thursdays it was easy to coordinate.
“I’ve always wanted to race at Stafford Speedway. I’ve had a great relationship with them over the years… Berlin Raceway is such a historic short track, and has produced some great racers, so having the opportunity to run there really appealed to me.”
SRX CEO Don Hawk said Harvick was “one of the first drivers on my radar. I’ve always had a very healthy respect for Kevin’s driving style, swagger and business acumen. He’s a great get for SRX and I couldn’t be happier to have him.”
Stafford has been on the SRX calendar since 2021, with Doug Coby and Harvick’s ex-SHR team-mate Ryan Newman winning the two races. Berlin will be a new track for 2023.