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Josh Berry expected to replace retiring Kevin Harvick at Stewart-Haas Racing

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Stewart-Haas Racing has set a “major announcement” for Wednesday afternoon, where it is expected that Josh Berry will be named as the driver to replace the retiring Kevin Harvick starting in 2024.

Harvick is among those slated to appear at the announcement, as is his current crew chief Rodney Childers, who possibly would assume the same role for Berry.

Childers, a former race-car driver, would likely be the optimal pairing for Berry, a 32-year-old driver who has spent several years competing at regional levels until going full-time Xfinity Series racing in 2022 with JR Motorsports.

Berry won twice running a partial Xfinity schedule in 2021 and then three times last year on his way to finishing fourth in the series standings. He sits fifth in the 2023 standings in a year where he also has driven in eight Cup races — with one top-5 and three top-10s — in a substitute role for injured Hendrick Motorsports drivers Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman.

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“Certainly, everybody has known his talent watching him in other forms of racing, late models, and the Xfinity Series,” said four-time Cup champion and Hendrick Motorsports vice chairman Jeff Gordon in April. “You have to put him in other cars with other teams and other people to really see how far he could take it.

“I think he’s got a future in the Cup Series.”

That future appears to be with SHR, which FOX Sports reported as the favorite to land Berry for the last couple of months. The Athletic reported last month that the deal would be completed.

Harvick announced in January that this would be his last season and then in February announced he would join FOX Sports as a booth analyst for Cup races in 2024. Berry recently signed with KHI Management, an agency owned by Harvick that represents athletes in motorsports, golf and mixed martial arts and works to land them sponsorships in addition to negotiating contracts.

Whether any sponsorship for Berry will be announced Wednesday is unclear, but finalizing the deal with Berry now not only locks one of the top up-and-coming talents at SHR but also gives more ability for the team to focus on landing sponsorship.

Berry happy with result

Josh Berry was pleased with a 10th-place finish in his fourth career Cup start and second substituting for Chase Elliott.

Anheuser-Busch, which currently sponsors Harvick through its Busch Light brand, has not signed with SHR for next season and industry sources indicate Trackhouse Racing is the top candidate for that deal.

The announcement Wednesday — where team co-owner and three-time Cup champion Tony Stewart is listed among the speakers — might not be the only driver change in the SHR lineup for the 2024 Cup season.

Aric Almirola said earlier this month that he is still undecided on whether he will return next year. Almirola had announced prior to the 2022 season that 2022 would be his last year and then was convinced by the team and sponsor Smithfield in the late summer to stay for at least 2023 with an option for 2024.

“It’s still very fluid,” Almirola said. “I don’t have any timetable. By this time last year what I thought was going to happen ended up not happening, so for me, it’s just get up every morning and continue to work hard at being the best racecar driver I can be and we’ll see where things shake out.”

Will Harvick get one more win?

With the season nearing the halfway point, the Race Hub crew discusses if Kevin Harvick will be able to get a win in his final season.

SHR also is expected to announce Tuesday a crew chief change. Richard Boswell, who has been crew chief for Riley Herbst in the Xfinity Series, is now listed in the NASCAR roster portal as crew chief for Chase Briscoe and the No. 14 Cup team. Davin Restivo, an engineer on Almirola’s Cup team, is now listed as Herbst’s crew chief in Xfinity.

Bob Pockrass covers NASCAR for FOX Sports. He has spent decades covering motorsports, including the past 30 Daytona 500s, with stints at ESPN, Sporting News, NASCAR Scene magazine and The (Daytona Beach) News-Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bobpockrass, and sign up for the FOX Sports NASCAR Newsletter with Bob Pockrass.

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