Who are the possible replacements for Kevin Harvick in 2024?

Early Thursday morning, Kevin Harvick announced that he would leave the NASCAR Cup Series at the end of the 2023 season. The No. 4 car for Stewart-Haas Racing is now available for purchase in 2024.

Kevin Harvick  retirement from Stewart-Haas Racing will take place after the 2023 season, as fans of the Cup Series finally know after months of waiting. He won the Coca-Cola 600 in 2011 and ’13, the Daytona 500 in 2007, the Southern 500 in 2020, and the Brickyard 400 in 2003, ’19, and ’20, among his 60 triumphs. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is the 2014 series winner’s next destination.

The 47-year-old Kevin Harvick is undoubtedly looking forward to spending more time with his promising racer son Keelan. And if the agreement still needs to be reached, Fox Sports will likely approach him about joining Mike Joy and Clint Bowyer in the booth as the third man.

Drivers who are speculated to replace Kevin Harvick at Stewart-Haas Racing

Let’s look closely at three audacious contenders that Stewart-Haas Racing might consider in 2024 after Kevin Harvick hangs up his driving shoes.

  1. Cole Custer

The most straightforward and ideal candidate to succeed Kevin Harvick in 2024 is Cole Custer. Having worked for SHR, he has prior Cup series expertise. As a result, there wouldn’t be a transition period, which would be necessary for them to add another driver. Additionally, SHR recognizes Custer’s potential because they are unlikely to have otherwise given him a seat in a second Xfinity car.

Custer was downgraded to the Xfinity Series for the 2023 NASCAR Season, where he would operate the #00 in a second full-time SHR car after faltering in his three full-time Cup series seasons. Expect Custer to be the most likely contender for SHR in 2024 if he ignites the Xfinity Series as he did before switching to Cup racing.

  1. Todd Gilliland

In 2022, Todd Gilliland completed his first full NASCAR Cup Series season with Front Row Motorsports. Although Michael McDowell, Gilliland’s teammate, had his best season to date, Gilliland significantly improved. The No. 38 driver finished the season with one top-five finish, two top-10 finishes, and a 28th-place finish in the point standings. Even while the final status in the point standings could be better, it will only improve.

Regarding potential drivers, Gilliland is one of Ford’s shining examples. Promoting a young driver to take Kevin Harvick’s seat in the No. 4 car would be a good idea since the Ford pipeline of prospects isn’t very strong.

While some seasoned drivers make sense, Gilliland can develop into a competent driver. It would be a good fit and allow him to develop among people like Chase Briscoe and Ryan Preece. The next driver on the list may not come as a surprise, but it would be a risky move to add him to Stewart-Haas Racing’s Cup Series lineup at this time.

  1. Zane Smith

When Zane Smith competed for Front Row Motorsports in the NASCAR Truck Series for the 2022 season, it was clear that he was Ford’s strongest NASCAR prospect. Smith won the Truck Series at the end of the year. Ben Rhodes, Chandler Smith, and Ty Majeski were defeated by the driver of the No. 38 truck to win the race. Smith had been second in Championship 4 for the previous two years, so this was his first championship.

Smith finished 23 races this season with four victories, 14 top-5, and 19 top-10 finishes. The 23-year-old racer will also participate in a few Xfinity and NASCAR Cup events in the 2023 season. Thus, Smith will have recent experience in NASCAR’s top two divisions if Stewart-Haas Racing wants to hire him as their driver. The young driver might also think that this is the most logical jump.

  1. Riley Herbst

Riley Herbst finished his second NASCAR Xfinity Series season with Stewart-Haas Racing, and it was undoubtedly an improvement over the 2021 campaign. The development was undoubtedly evident, even though it did not result in victory.

Herbst finished in 10th position in the point standings with a record of eight top-5 performances and 20 top-10 finishes. As was already said, the No. 98 car’s driver was unsuccessful in winning an event, but the other statistics were very impressive.

Herbst must now secure that elusive win as his next action. The NASCAR Cup Series now has drivers like Ty Gibbs, Noah Gragson, and A.J. Allmendinger, which creates room for future expansion. He might finally have a chance to win races this year. If so, 23 years old the driver, might be eligible for a promotion. But everything hinges on how last season’s developments play out.

The most famous driver on this list will undoubtedly have the chance to advance to NASCAR’s highest level following a very successful 2022 season.


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