NASCAR Cup Series
Kevin Harvick on Stewart-Haas Racing shutting down: 'It's unbelievable to me'
NASCAR Cup Series

Kevin Harvick on Stewart-Haas Racing shutting down: 'It's unbelievable to me'

Updated May. 29, 2024 1:13 p.m. ET

The NASCAR world was dealt substantial news Tuesday, as Stewart-Haas Racing announced that it's closing up shop after the 2024 season, expressing that it's "time to pass the torch."

On the latest edition of "Kevin Harvick's Happy Hour," Kevin Harvick, who drove for Stewart-Haas Racing in each of his last 10 years in the Cup Series (2014-23), expressed bewilderment at the news.

"It's unbelievable to me that we went from 4Ever to 4Ward to for sale in six months. I don't even know how you could possibly imagine sitting here today and thinking six months later that Stewart-Haas Racing is going to announce that they're basically folding," Harvick said. "When I went there in 2014, it was a brand-new team. We had a lot of enthusiasm from the ownership group to build this team up into what turned into being a championship-winning team; [we] won a lot of races. But I had a great group of people, and I think the people around that [No.] 4 car [Harvick's car] over the last 10 years are really what held that company together. I think that company was held together by the success of the [No.] 4 car."

So, what went wrong with Stewart-Haas Racing?  


"Once that backbone of all that kind of went away, I think it started poking some holes and just the ‘what happens at the top side of the upper management' and everything that goes with running a race team top to bottom. It's a full-time job. It's a 24/7 job — and it's not a knock on owners — Gene [Haas] and Tony [Stewart] were great to me, but they're kind of hands-off owners and have people in place to do their jobs," Harvick said. "And I think in today's day and age, you have to have people that are involved with the authority to do what they need to do with the people and the things inside of the company to make it run properly. 

"It's tough to see. There's a lot of people that put a lot of time and effort into that organization. The organization did a lot for me, personally."

Gene Haas has been deploying cars in the Cup Series since 2002, originally under the name of "Haas CNC Racing." He joined forces with then-driver and future NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart in 2008, forming Stewart-Haas Racing.

Stewart got Stewart-Haas Racing on the board with its first championship in 2011. Harvick got them their second championship in 2014, his first season with the team.

Harvick is the all-time Stewart-Haas leader in wins, reaching victory lane 37 times with the group. Stewart himself was second with 16 wins; he retired following the 2016 season. Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman are also among the drivers to race for the group, which has a combined 69 wins.

Kevin Harvick reacts to Stewart-Haas Racing shutting down after 2024, ‘It's unbelievable to me!'

Josh Berry, Chase Briscoe, Noah Gragson and Ryan Preece are Stewart-Haas Racing's four drivers currently in the Cup Series, but the group is struggling with no wins to date. Briscoe is 16th in total points; Berry is 19th; Gragson is 21st, and Preece is 28th. Berry took Harvick's No. 4 drive in the wake of the latter's retirement following the 2023 season.

As for what's next, Stewart-Haas has four charters it can sell. According to FOX Sports NASCAR Insider Bob Pockrass, at least three of those charters are expected to go to Front Row Motorsports, 23XI Racing and Trackhouse Racing. 

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