Kevin Harvick will be replaced by Josh Berry in the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season, as announced by Stewart-Haas Racing.
Many NASCAR fans believed that Stewart-Haas Racing would be confirming Kevin Harvick’s replacement for the 2024 Cup Series season after the team announced on Monday they had scheduled a “major announcement” for Wednesday afternoon.
Officials from Stewart Haas Racing introduced Berry on Wednesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway as the new driver of its No. 4 Ford starting in 2024, taking the place of future NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Kevin Harvick who will retire at the end of the 2023 season.
Harvick declared that the 2023 season which is his 23rd in the sport and his 10th with Stewart-Haas Racing behind the wheel of the No. 4 car, will be his final before confirming a transfer to the Fox Sports broadcast booth for the 2024 campaign.
Josh Berry emerged as the most likely contender to succeed the 2014 champion behind the wheel of the No. 4 Ford next season after impressing teams with his performance when stepping in for the injured Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman at Hendrick Motorsports earlier this season.
Berry will join a successful company and team that will maintain Rodney Childers, Harvick’s outstanding crew chief in charge of the team. He has been racing in the Xfinity Series for three seasons, the last two of which have been spent as a full-time driver since his comeback to the sport in 2021.
The 32-year-old driver from Hendersonville, Tennessee, joined JR Motorsports in 2021 and raced for victories at Martinsville Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the No. 8 Chevrolet. He also made it to the Championship 4 in his first season as a full-time driver in 2022 after winning at Dover Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, and Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
He has finished in the top ten in 10 of the 14 races he has competed in this season, and in the top five six times, with his best finish coming in second place at Dover Motor Speedway. He is now fifth in the standings.
Since their pairing in 2014, Harvick and Childers have won 37 series, including a Cup Series championship in their first season together and a career-high nine victories for Harvick in the 2020 campaign.
“I can’t imagine a better opportunity for me – to get in a car that’s been as successful and iconic as the No. 4,” Berry said. “Kevin is a future NASCAR Hall of Famer, and it’s going to be a challenge trying to come after someone so successful.
“But I know I’m going to have an amazing group of people around me, led by Rodney Childers, to where we can hit the ground running.”
Stewart Haas Racing failed to discuss sponsorship for the No. 4 vehicle in 2024; however, a team representative stated that “constructive conversations” were currently taking place with both the current SHR partners connected to the No. 4 and potential new partners.
“Josh Berry has proven himself in the Xfinity Series and this year showed how quickly he can adapt to the cars and the level of competition in the NASCAR Cup Series,” said Greg Zipadelli, SHR’s chief competition officer.
“He’ll be a rookie in our race car next year, but he drives like a veteran. He puts in the work to ensure that he’s always ready for the opportunities that come his way, and we’re very happy that his next opportunity is with Stewart-Haas Racing.”