WARNING: The Final Kevin Harvick Radio Communications and Post-Race Celebration May Produce Tears
Kevin Harvick concluded his NASCAR Hall of Fame career in Phoenix on Sunday, November 5. After the race, he gathered with his family, team, fellow competitors, and fans to celebrate while drinking a few cold ones.
Before sharing plenty of stories and taking a trip down memory lane with those closest to him, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver competed in his final race, in which he finished seventh, and went through his normal routine. Except on this day, his final radio communications before and at the end of the race were understandably special and emotional.
Kevin Harvick hears from kids before race
Kevin Harvick was understandably a main storyline going into the NASCAR Cup Series season finale race in the desert since the 47-year-old was wrapping up a 23-year career with 60 wins, including the 2007 Daytona 500 and the 2014 championship.
After entering his car for a final time, he put on his helmet and began the radio communication with his team. Crew chief Rodney Childers offered some final encouraging words to his driver before the race. However, before that happened, he turned over the microphone for a special announcement from Harvick’s two kids, Keelan, 11, and Piper, 5.
“Hey, Dad. I’m so proud of you,” Keelan said. “You’ve had a great career. Finish it off with one more.”
“10-4, buddy. Thank you!” Harvick responded.
“Love you,” his son said.
A few seconds later, it was his daughter’s turn.
“Good luck, Dad!” an excited Piper yelled.
“Thank you, Piper!” he replied, then paused. “Dammit!” he said, obviously fighting back emotions.
Final communication with crew after race
Kevin Harvick and Phoenix Raceway have had a special relationship. It’s been the best track in his career with nine wins. Sunday’s top-10 finish was also significant because it extended his impressive streak of consecutive finishes inside the top 10 to 20.
A few minutes after taking his final checkered flag, Childers delivered one final communication to his driver, whom he partnered with over the last decade.
“Alright, buddy. Thanks for everything,” Childers told him. “Ended up P7, man. I appreciate the effort all weekend. Everybody tried their hearts out. It’s been a hell of a 10 years, man. I can’t thank you enough,” he said, his voice filled with emotion.
“Yeah, 10-4, buddy,” Harvick responded. “Proud to drive this car for 10 years. Appreciate all the effort. Everything that you guys have done, I appreciate.”
“Just a reminder,” his crew chief told him. “Busch Beer is bringing a bunch of coolers out to the car to do a little beer toast as soon as we get the car out there.”
Harvick gets emotional in post-race toast
After his final media obligations, Harvick gathered for that beer toast to celebrate his storied NASCAR career. And the man who admitted this season that he’s not as tough as he led on throughout his career got emotional.
Video showed him toasting with those gathered, then fighting back tears and hugging his wife and kids.
It was a moving moment for The Closer and his fans, closing out a memorable career for one of the best NASCAR drivers to ever do it.