Kevin Harvick says it’s time for Joe Gibbs Racing to move on from Martin Truex Jr.

The 2014 champion has a vested interest in that seat becoming available, however

In addition to his new role as a FOX Sports NASCAR television analyst, and likely first ballot Hall of Fame inductee over the next several years, Kevin Harvick also owns a sports talent agency, KHI, that represents numerous Cup Series drivers.

Those drivers include, Josh Berry, Harrison Burton, Todd Gilliland, Riley Herbst, Corey LaJoie, Ryan Preece and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Only Gilliland, Lajoie and Stenhouse have jobs lined up for next season.

So, when Harvick, speaking on his Happy Hours podcast says it’s time for Martin Truex Jr. to reach a decision on whether to retire or continue another season at Joe Gibbs Racing, it’s not entirely a macro observation from a pundit.

He needs to know what seats are going to be available so his agency, led by vice president Josh Jones, can start to work on deals for their free agents to be. The statement comes after Truex ran out of gas on the final lap of Sunday’s race at Sonoma, going from racing for the win, to finishing in the second half of the field.

Truex remains winless on the season, even though he is near the top of the championship standings in one of the best prepared cars in the garage.

“It stinks for Martin. I think it’s one of those scenarios where he had a good car, in contention to win,” Harvick said. “They’ve had a few of those situations to where they’ve run out of gas or had something go wrong with the strategy or the car or something as they get to end of the race. It always seems like it unwinds for them at the end of these races and don’t get to Victory Lane.

“Add on top of that all the is he coming back, is he not coming back? I just think at this point instead of year after year, at this point Joe Gibbs Racing has to say, ‘Okay we got to move on. We got to do something different. There’s the chaos of the constant questions and it’s hard to build a team. We’re not winning races, we’re running good, but we’re not winning the amount of races for all the hassle and everything that goes with everything that comes with the scenario that they’re in.’”

And at 43-years-old, Truex knows the time is near to make that decision, not only for himself but also his current team and those who might be angling for the ride next season.

“I don’t know yet. We’ll see,” Truex said during a media call last week. “It’s never enough time in this sport because you need to start planning for next year like now. It’s a tough situation to be in where I’m at right now, trying to figure out six, or eight months ahead of time. But it is what it is. There’s a lot of people that have to make plans and you don’t want to mess them up. You have to be looking out for everybody else in these situations.”

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