The Kevin Harvick Story, A NASCAR Sprint Cup Driver
The Imitator? Not hardly. The Instigator? Maybe, sometimes, but he does what is necessary to win and week in and week out he is one of the top drivers. But, you won’t hear Kevin calling the WEHMBULANCE like some of the drivers who feel his style of racing is to over the edge. Enough already with the weh weh weh. Crying! there’s no crying in NASCAR. Besides, any racer worth his salt would not tolerate another driver that runs interference so their teammate can get an advantage. Teammates! there’s no teammates in NASCAR, or at least there shouldn’t be. Bobby Allison, (or any of the Allison’s), Richard Petty, Fireball Roberts, Cale Yarborough and even drivers from more recent years like Dale Sr. and Wild Bill from Dawsonville or a young Rusty Wallace wouldn’t hesitate to swap paint. If you are too slow, move over. If you are trying something stupid like running interference (which just didn’t happen until owners starting fielding multiple teams) then too bad, that’s why they call it a race to the finish. Anyway, real NASCAR fans long for the days when there were no restrictor plates, and no 5 or 6 car teams causing Winston Cup racing to become a team sport. There was no Lucky Dog rule that killed racing back to the start/finish line. Oh for the old days, when men were men and not million dollar cry babies Yeah, I called it Winston Cup, because when it was Winston Cup, there was real racing. When men were men and the sponsors were nervous. Whew! now that I got all that out of my system, I can get back to my story about Kevin Harvick, a real chip off of the Ol’ block. Did someone ask me what I thought was wrong with NASCAR? Anyway, look at here now.
The Early Days
Kevin Harvick was born on December 8, 1975 and was raised in Bakersfield, California. He is married to his wife DeLana, who has racing in her blood as her Dad was a professional race car driver as well. Kevin and DeLana now own Kevin Harvick Incorporated. They field to two NASCAR Busch Series teams and a Craftsman Truck Series team.
Kevin began competing in the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Southwest Series while in High School. He had already had quite the successful run with Go-Karts starting in elementary school and he was simply pursuing his dream at the next logical level. After graduating, Kevin continued racing cars. It was either racing or wrestling and his first love easily won out. In 1996, Kevin competed in his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at his hometown track, the Mesa Marin Raceway. He then drove in the Grand National AutoZone West Series and in 1998 became the series Champion. He drove in the Craftsman Truck Series that same year with Spears Motorsports.
In 2000, Kevin Harvick met Richard Childress and Kevin signed on to drive for Childress full-time in the Busch Series for the 2000 season. He had a highly successful NASCAR Busch Series stint as he was the Busch Series’ top rookie in 2000. In 2001, Richard Childress Racing signed Kevin to drive in seven races on the Winston Cup circuit, for Richard’s newest sponsor, AOL. However, there was an event that took place that no one could have imagined. Legendary driver, Dale Earnhart tragically died as the result of a crash that occurred in the last race of 2001 at the Daytona 500.
Richard Childress, in a somewhat surprising move, signed Kevin Harvick to replace Dale Earnhardt. At the age of 25, Kevin Harvick became the driver of Dale Earnhardt’s car. However, the #3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet was painted all white, and the number changed to #29. In his Winston Cup debut Kevin finished a very respectable 14th after qualifying 36th. Kevin continues to this day to be one of the top drivers in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series.
The Rest of the Story
To bring this story to a fitting conclusion, Kevin has won the Brickyard 400 from the pole position. He has won NASCAR’S most coveted prize, the Daytona 500. He won five races in 2006 after a dismal couple of years and made the race for the championship two consecutive years. He has finished as high as 4th in the bid for the Championship crown. In 2007, Kevin won his first Nextel All Star victory and finished 10th in the Championship race. In 2008, Kevin had no wins, but had 7 top 5 finishes and 16 top 10 finishes placing him at #4 on the earnings list for 2008 with $5,603,650. Keep an eye the yellow #29 Shell/Pennzoil car this year. It promises to be Kevin’s best year ever.