Back on Jan. 12, Kevin Harvick announced that 2023 would be his final year in the NASCAR Cup Series. The driver of the No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing will retire after the checkered flag waves at the season finale Nov. 5 at Phoenix Raceway. When that day comes, Harvick will have had a 23-year run in the Cup Series – one of the longest tenures in recent memory.
A championship in 2014 and 60 points-paying victories ensures Harvick is set for his golden years. Busch Light wants to help one lucky Harvick fan with his or her own swansong by contributing toward his or her retirement, along with other big prizes. Fans just need to follow @BuschBeer and turn on notifications to find out how to win leading into the Daytona 500. The 65th Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway gets underway at 2:30 p.m. EST on Sunday, Feb. 19, with live coverage on FOX.
● The Daytona 500 will be Kevin Harvick’s 22nd career start in The Great American Race. His first Daytona 500 came 21 years ago on Feb. 17, 2002. He started second in that race and finished 36th after getting collected in a multicar accident on lap 150.
● Of the 43 drivers who competed in the 2002 Daytona 500, only one is entered in this year’s race – Harvick. The 65th Daytona 500 will be his 791st career NASCAR Cup Series start. In terms of career starts, the next closest driver to Harvick is Kyle Busch. He will make his 643rd career Cup Series start in the Daytona 500.
● In the 2002 Daytona 500, three of the drivers Harvick competed against were Bill Elliott, Jeff Burton and Dave Blaney. In the 2023 Daytona 500, Harvick will compete against their sons, as Chase Elliott, Harrison Burton and Ryan Blaney follow in the footsteps of their fathers.
● Trivia Time! How many NASCAR Hall of Famers competed in the 2002 Daytona 500? Answer: 10. They are Mark Martin (finished sixth), Jeff Gordon (finished ninth), Elliott (finished 11th), Dale Jarrett (finished 14th), Rusty Wallace (finished 18th), Terry Labonte (finished 20th), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (finished 29th), Matt Kenseth (finished 33rd), Bobby Labonte (finished 34th) and Tony Stewart (finished 43rd). Who won the race? Answer: Ward Burton by .193 of a second over Elliott Sadler. It was the fourth of his five career NASCAR Cup Series victories. (FYI: Ward Burton is Jeff Burton’s brother and Harrison Burton’s uncle.)
● Five years and one day after Harvick’s Daytona 500 debut, he won the 2007 Daytona 500. He edged the aforementioned Martin for the victory by .02 of a second in a frantic green-white-checkered finish. It is the second-closest finish in Daytona 500 history, trailing only Denny Hamlin’s .01-of-a-second advantage over Martin Truex Jr., in 2016.
● To earn a spot in this year’s Daytona 500, drivers must first compete in the Bluegreen Vacations Duel – twin 150-mile qualifying races that set the 40-car field for the Daytona 500. Harvick has won his Duel race twice (2013 and 2019). The driver of the No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing is currently on a run of eight straight top-10 finishes in the Duel, and he has finished among the top-five in six of his last seven Duel races.
● Before drivers compete in the Duel, they race the clock in single-lap qualifying. The two fastest cars are locked into the field while the rest of the drivers are split into the Duel. Qualifiers in odd-numbered positions are in the first Duel and qualifiers in even-numbered positions are in the second Duel. Harvick has never started on the pole for the Daytona 500, but he did take the outside pole once – 2002 in his first Daytona 500. Harvick lapped the 2.5-mile oval in 48.447 seconds at 185.770 mph, just .016 of a second off the pole-winning time of Jimmie Johnson.
● The 2023 season marks Harvick’s 23rd year in the NASCAR Cup Series. Of his 790 career, points-paying starts, 43 of them have come on Daytona’s 2.5-mile oval. In addition to his 2017 Daytona 500 victory, Harvick won the 2010 Coke Zero 400. He has 11 top-fives and 16 top-10s on the Daytona oval. The 65th Daytona 500 will be his 44th points-paying start on the Daytona oval.
● Outside of the NASCAR Cup Series, Harvick has made 19 career NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Daytona and three IROC starts. Of Harvick’s 47 Xfinity Series wins, only one is at Daytona – the 2007 season opener. And Harvick’s best IROC finish at Daytona is seventh, earned twice (2003 and 2004). Harvick is a two-time Xfinity Series champion (2001 and 2006) and the 2002 IROC champion.