|Kevin, Keelan and DeLana Harvick celebrate a championship|
credit: NASCAR via Getty Images/Jared C. Tilton
After an exciting finish to the new-format 2014 Chase for the Sprint Cup, Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing, is a first-time Cup Series champ. Here are the updated “Fast Facts,” first published in Aug. 2011, on the driver they call “The Closer” – and now “The Champ.”
- Kevin Michael Harvick was born Dec. 8, 1975 in Bakersfield, California. His parents bought him a go-kart for his kindergarten graduation in 1980, and in the next 10 years, won seven national championships and two Grand National championships. He competed in the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series while in North High School in Bakersfield, where he also competed as a wrestler, earning the section title in his weight class his senior year.
- Harvick made his Truck Series debut in 1995 at his hometown Mesa Marin Raceway, starting and finishing 27th in a family-owned truck. He also competed in the NASCAR Auto Zone West Series, the Winston West Series, and the Winter Heat Series at Tucson Raceway Park.
- In 2000, Harvick signed with Richard Childress Racing to compete full-time in the Busch Series, winning the series’ Rookie of the Year title. Plans were to have Harvick race the series full-time again in 2001, moving to the Cup Series full-time in 2002, until the untimely death of Dale Earnhardt at Daytona. It took Harvick just three races to win his first emotional Cup Series race, edging out Jeff Gordon by 0.006-seconds at Atlanta. In 2001, Harvick captured both the Cup Series Rookie of the Year and the Nationwide Series championship; Harvick was also Nationwide champ in 2006.
- As a member of RCR in the Cup Series from 2001-2013, Harvick won 23 races and had 209 top 10 finishes; he finished third in points three times (2010, 2011 and 2013). Harvick joined Stewart-Haas Racing for 2014, ending the season with five wins, 20 top 10 finishes and the Sprint Cup Series championship.
- Harvick also has 44 career Nationwide Series wins and 14 career Camping World Truck Series wins.
- Harvick and his wife, the former DeLana Linville, owned Kevin Harvick Incorporated from 2001 to 2011 and competed in the Nationwide Series and Truck Series. The Harvicks are parents to Keelan, who has become a fixture in pre- and post-race features on his father. The Harvicks founded the Kevin Harvick Foundation in 2010 to support children’s programs throughout the US.
- Find out more about Kevin Harvick at www.kevinharvick.com.