NASCAR is undergoing many changes heading into the 2018 season, and the changes have some wondering if the sport is in good shape for the future.
Ratings declined in 2017, and there's a chance they decline even further after Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s retirement. However, Kevin Harvick is optimistic about the future of NASCAR, and he told Motorsport.com that he thinks the sport has good things going for it.
"We've got a lot of good things going for us right now," Harvick said. "We just need to keep the momentum going in that direction and not fall into the narrative of 'TV ratings are down.' TV is a wide-open world of who is turning what device on, who is using it and who is paying for what. It's a wide-open landscape, and you've got to keep your eyes opened because things are going to change a lot."
Harvick, who just turned 42, is one of the leaders of the sport, and he said he enjoys helping the sport grow.
"As you look at the future of the sport in general, it's definitely a role that I enjoy -- I really enjoy being a part of the different aspects that make our sport go around," Harvick said. "I think it's important to make everyone realize that it's not just about you, it's not just about your team, it's really about the sport in general and keeping it healthy."
Harvick is coming off of a season where he made the Championship 4 and was close to winning his second career Cup Series title. It's a good sign that one of the top drivers in the sport is optimistic about its future, but there are some warning signs that NASCAR might be in trouble -- at least until a driver can come close to reaching Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s popularity.
Time will tell, and Harvick could be right about NASCAR being in a good place. We'll be able to tell by how the ratings look to start next season.