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Who Takes Over the 4 After Kevin Harvick?


Recently the NASCAR world was hit with some big news with the announcement of Kevin Harvick’s retirement come season’s end. The 47 year old Cup champion has been the leader at Stewart-Haas Racing ever since he joined in 2014, the same year he won his lone Cup title. Kevin has been a constant for the team which has seen many changes throughout Harvick’s tenure. With Harvick’s retirement looming, the biggest question for SHR moving forward is who takes over the 4 after Harvick? While many are under contract elsewhere, here’s who I believe could take Harvick’s seat in 2024.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.


Stenhouse’s dirt background would fit in perfectly at SHR. While Stenhouse hasn’t been stellar in his time in the Cup series, he’s gotten wins and shown an ability to run well given the right circumstances. That being said, most of the equipment Stenhouse has driven for has been mid-pack at best. His first years in Cup were with the declining Roush Fenway Racing and he currently drives for JTG Daughtery racing, who is often included in rumors regarding the organization’s shutdown. SHR certainly isn’t what it used to be but it would be better equipment than Stenhouse has ever had. Many forget he is a 2-time Xfinity champion. He hasn’t shown that same ability in Cup, but a ride at Stewart-Haas could be just what he needs to change his legacy.

Cole Custer


The 24 year old California native Cole Custer could be a name poised for this seat next season. Custer spent the last 3 seasons driving the 41 for Stewart-Haas garnering little success besides a dramatic victory at Kentucky in 2020. SHR certainly didn’t forget how good Custer was at the Xfinity level, sending him back down in favor of Ryan Preece. Custer was dominant in his last couple Xfinity seasons and many were expecting him to be amazing in the Cup series. Now he has a chance to prove that the talent is still there and that he deserves another shot in the Cup series. A big season out of Cole Custer could see him in the 4 next season.

Ross Chastain

Ross’ name has popped up in recent rumors around NASCAR media and while it’s all speculation I’m here to tell you Ross Chastain is not leaving Trackhouse Racing. He has helped build that organization similar to Daniel Suarez and has put them in the spotlight almost every single week. If you compare SHR and Trackhouse last season, Chastain would be leaving for what is arguably worse equipment. He’s not going anywhere.

John Hunter Nemechek

The son of racer Joe Nemechek could be a name that pops up in conversations with the 4. Nemechek drove in the Cup series for Front Row Motorsports during the 2020 season where he showed flashes of greatness while driving in mid to lower level equipment. Despite making it to the Cup level, Nemechek wanted to have greater opportunities elsewhere, so he decided to head back down to the truck series driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports. During his time at KBM Nemechek nabbed a total of 7 wins and finished 5th and 3rd in the points standings. This year he moves to Joe Gibbs Racing’s Xfinity program where he hopes to continue his success in order to land that big cup ride. Odds are that could come with JGR, but SHR will be needing a new leader and John Hunter Nemechek could be a nice fit.

Other Options

A few other names to toss out there are Zane Smith, Martin Truex Jr. and Josh Berry. All 3 drivers have very different circumstances but I could see each in the 4 car. While Truex may seem like a stretch, if JGR decides to move on from him and he wants to continue racing, I almost think he’s a lock for the 4 car. Another option would see SHR drop down to a 3 car organization. SHR has fielded a full 4 car team since before Harvick’s arrival, it would be a big change for the organization. That being said, they haven’t been the same team they once were and downsizing could help overall performance.
All in all, it’s tough to tell who is going to take over the 4 car after Harvick is gone. A lot of drivers are still under contract and most big names are comfortable where they are at. Anyone could be a possibility and if Busch decides to stay on board as a sponsor it could be up to them. Either way, keep your eyes peeled on rumors throughout Harvick’s final season

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