On October 23, 1999, Kevin Harvick made his first Xfinity Series start at the Target House 200 at North Carolina Motor Speedway. Though he would only complete 34 laps in that first race before retiring with an engine failure, Harvick would go on to make 346 Xfinity starts, winning 47 and racking up 259 top-10 placements.
19 years later, following a 29th place finish at Darlington Raceway, Harvick will be calling it quits as an Xfinity Series driver, which he announced Tuesday, September 4, on his SiriusXM NASCAR Radio show, Happy Hours.
“For me (Darlington) will be the last scheduled Xfinity race that we put on the schedule,” Harvick said.
Harvick said that he made the decision so that he could focus more on his NASCAR Cup Series career.
“With the two-day schedules, my family and all of the things that came up this year just because of the way the schedules worked out … I just need to focus on my Cup car and the things that are happening there,” Harvick said.
“Just like this weekend. The practices were back-to-back. I needed to be in the Cup hauler with Rodney (Childers) and those guys making sure that my car was 100 percent dialed in between practices.”
Despite his commitment to no longer running regular scheduled Xfinity races, Harvick did not rule out running an Xfinity race here and there under special circumstances.
“It’s not to say that I won’t run here or there if we have a sponsor, or someone who needs something, or there’s a new racetrack that’s intriguing. But for me, there’s no more planned Xfinity races,” Harvick said.
While he had a disappointing finish at Darlington, which was caused by a dust-up with Ross Chastain on Lap 111, Harvick is third on the all-time Xfinity wins list behind Kyle Busch (92) and Mark Martin (49).