Earlier this season, legendary NASCAR great Kevin Harvick announced that 2023 would be his final full-time season in the Cup Series. The 47-year-old is a 60-time winner in the NASCAR Cup Series and brings to an end a Hall of Fame career spanning more than two decades.
On this day in 2017, Kevin Harvick won at Sonoma! pic.twitter.com/avGPD84dnl
— NASCAR PICTURES (@Nascarpixtures) June 25, 2023
Harvick’s best season was in 2014 when he won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in his first season with Stewart-Haas Racing. “The Closer” also won the 2020 regular season title and the 2001 and 2006 Busch Series Championships.
With 2023 Harvick’s last ride, NASCAR betting fans are curious to see how far he can go. Will he make the playoffs? And if so, can he make a run at the title and retire on top of the sport?
Despite having yet to win a race in 2023, Harvick ranks sixth in points heading into this weekend’s Grant Park 220 on the streets of Chicago. That puts him well within the top 16 drivers who earn spots in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. The veteran also ranks 11th in playoff points.
Kevin Harvick has been skeptical on how viable Cup racing on street courses is. Won’t set any expectations for Chicago but mentioned NASCAR’s track record of successful inaugural events.
The real challenge will be the second time when everyone knows what to expect pic.twitter.com/iCc9QF0XYo
— Steven Taranto (@STaranto92) June 24, 2023
Harvick’s four top-five finishes and seven in the top 10 aren’t the results he hoped for in 2022. But placing in the top 10 with frequency has set him up to cruise into the playoffs.
`While anything can happen between now and the end of the regular season, Harvick’s farewell tour will roll through several favorable tracks in the near future. One is Michigan International Speedway, where Harvick has six wins and is the defending race winner. The second is Richmond Raceway, where he has four wins and also took the most recent checkered flag there. Harvick will also race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, where he is a four-time winner.
With the points Harvick already has, plus three of his best tracks still, to come on the summer schedule, it’s hard to imagine a world where Harvick misses the playoffs in 2023. While Harvick should make the show, The NASCAR odds for him to win the playoffs aren’t as optimistic.
Dark Horse Odds for Harvick
Harvick winning the 2023 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship would be a nice story and the perfect way to end a career. But, with the NASCAR lines listing him at +1600 to win, it’s a longshot bet for Harvick to retire on top of the sport.
Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch, and Martin Truex Jr. are the current frontrunners to win the title at +500,+600, and +700 respectively. The latter leads the series in points (576) with an 18-point lead over William Byron and Ross Chastain in second place. Busch is fifth in points while Larson is currently ninth.
Despite the low-ish rank, Bush leads the series with three wins and is a profitable NASCAR bet to hit the playoffs running and go on to win it all.