What Car Does Kevin Harvick Drive? A Look at His Career

June 11, 2024

Kevin Michael Harvick, a prominent figure in NASCAR, has had an illustrious and multifaceted career that has made him one of the most recognizable names in racing.

Early Life

"2009 Pep Boys Auto 500 Sept 6 (30)" by Hans J E is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/.

Kevin Harvick was born on December 8, 1975, in Bakersfield, California. He developed a passion for racing at an early age, starting with kart racing as a child. His talent was evident as he clinched seven national championships and two Grand National championships during his kart racing career. In high school, Harvick showcased his versatility by participating in various sports, including baseball, basketball, football, and soccer, and taking part in the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series.

NASCAR Career

Early Career

Kevin Harvick's entry into professional racing began with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 1995. By 1998, he had become the Winston West Series champion, marking the start of his rise in the racing world.

Busch Series

Harvick made his debut in the Busch Series in 1999, and by 2000, he was competing full-time with Richard Childress Racing, earning the Rookie of the Year title. This set the stage for his leap to the Cup Series.

Cup Series Debut

In 2001, Harvick stepped into the NASCAR Cup Series, taking over the car of the late Dale Earnhardt after his tragic death. Impressively, Harvick won his first Cup Series race at Atlanta just three weeks later and secured the Rookie of the Year award in the same year. He also won the Busch Series championship as a rookie, thus solidifying his place in NASCAR lore.

Key Achievements

Championships

Kevin Harvick's career is adorned with numerous championships, including the 2014 NASCAR Cup Series Championship and two Xfinity Series Championships (2001 and 2006). These titles stand as a testament to his driving prowess and competitive spirit.

Daytona 500 Win

One of Harvick’s most notable victories was the Daytona 500 win in 2007, further cementing his legacy in the racing community.

Phoenix Raceway Dominance

"2009 Pep Boys Auto 500 Sept 6 (30) (3895802751)" by Hans J E from Lawrenceville, US is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/.

At Phoenix Raceway, Harvick holds the all-time record for most wins in the Cup Series, with nine victories to his name. His dominance on this track is a memorable highlight of his extensive career.

National Series Wins

With 121 national series wins, Kevin Harvick ranks third all-time in NASCAR history, showcasing his consistent performance across different racing series.

Career Highlights and Notable Seasons

Throughout his long career, Harvick has had several standout seasons. In 2001, he won two Cup races and received the Rookie of the Year award. In 2006, he clinched his second Busch Series Championship and made his first Chase appearance. The 2007 season saw him winning the prestigious Daytona 500. His remarkable performance in 2013, with four Cup race wins, earned him a third-place finish in the points standings. In 2014, Harvick joined Stewart-Haas Racing and went on to win the Cup Series Championship, and in 2018, he achieved a career-high of eight wins.

Transition to Broadcasting

After years on the track, Harvick transitioned to broadcasting, starting as a commentator for NASCAR on Fox’s Xfinity Series races in 2015. Looking ahead, he is set to call Cup Series races starting in 2024.

Business Ventures

Harvick has also explored various business ventures, including owning and operating Kevin Harvick Incorporated, a race team in the Xfinity and Truck Series until 2011. Furthermore, in 2023, he became part of a consortium that purchased the CARS Tour.

Personal Life

Kevin Harvick married DeLana Harvick in 2001, and together they have two children, Keelan and Piper. The family resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. Harvick is also dedicated to philanthropy, establishing the Kevin Harvick Foundation in 2010 to support underprivileged youth.

Legacy and Retirement

Nicknamed “Happy Harvick” and “The Closer” for his cheerful personality and his knack for closing races, Harvick has announced his retirement at the end of the 2023 season, with plans to join NASCAR commentary full-time. His longevity and success have made him a significant figure in NASCAR's modern era, both as a driver and as a personality in the racing community.

Feuds and Controversies

Throughout his career, Harvick has had his share of feuds and controversies, including notable incidents with Kyle Busch in 2011 and Chase Elliott in 2021. Despite these contentious moments, his overall impact on NASCAR remains profound and enduring.

As Kevin Harvick prepares to step away from the driver's seat, his legacy as a champion and a significant figure in NASCAR is assured, reflecting a career marked by talent, versatility, and sustained excellence over more than 25 years.

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