Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch Among NASCAR Drivers Advocating for Summer Break Each Season

NASCAR drivers Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. are advocating for a seasonal summer break every year as they head into a two-week hiatus during the Olympics.

Busch and Truex, who are Joe Gibbs Racing teammates, told the Associated Press they're looking forward to vacation activities this summer rather than in the winter, when the sport takes a break.

Harvick said he wishes the summer break would become a regular thing. The break doesn't benefit just the drivers but also everyone associated with the weekly grind of getting a car ready for a different track each week, he added.

"I'd rather have a summer break and not have all the breaks at the beginning of the year," he said of the summer intermission. The hiatus came with just four races left before the 16-driver playoff field is set—and at the end of a stretch of 14 consecutive weekends of racing.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:

Kevin Harvick
Some NASCAR drivers say they are happy to have a summer break during the Tokyo Olympics and want it to occur each year. Above, Kevin Harvick waves to fans during pre-race ceremonies at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 18. James Gilbert/Getty Images

Another 14-week stretch, beginning the second weekend in August at Watkins Glen, New York, beckons when the racing resumes.

"I'd take it off the front end because everybody's fresh and energized," Harvick said about moving the break to the summer months. "I think having this two-week break really allows these guys in the shop and on the road to be able to actually have two for sure weeks off that they can plan around. That's something very important to the families of those individuals."

Harvick, though, wasn't planning on getting too far away from racing. His plans included attending three races for Keelan, his 9-year-old son. Still, he said, it's a break.

"I think not having to stress out about what your car did in the last race or what it's going to do in the next race for a couple of weeks is obviously nice," the 2014 champion said. Harvick won a series-high nine races last year, but like points leader Denny Hamlin, has only visited Victory Lane this season to congratulate other winning drivers.

The sport might even want to take a page from Formula One, Harvick said, and "shut the shops down. Make it mandatory that nobody can be in the buildings for the first week."

Count Busch and Truex among fans of the layoff too. They are among the 13 drivers that have already locked up spots in the title chase, perhaps making it a bit easier to enjoy some time away from the competition.

"Having an off week is good," Busch, the series champ in 2015 and 2019, said. "I think it's about time for us, a good summer break anyways to be able to go out and do things in the summertime that typically you'd always have to wait for the wintertime. I can't tell you how many winter vacations I've been on and places that I've gone in December, January versus actually being able to go somewhere far away in July."

Truex, whose three victories have him tied for second after 22 races, one win behind Kyle Larson, said he planned to spend the time away in the most relaxed way possible.

"Chilling, fishing, whatever," the 2017 series champion said. "Just hanging out."

Kevin Harvick car
Kevin Harvick competes in a NASCAR Cup Series auto race on July 18 in Loudon, New Hampshire. AP Photo/Charles Krupa