The Kevin Harvick story began on December 8, 1975 - the day he was born to a racing dad and a supportive mom who would encourage her son to pursue his dreams. Kevin's earliest years were spent in his dad's race shop, where he would watch from his playpen as his father worked on cars.
For kindergarten graduation in 1980, Kevin received a go-kart from his parents and began his storied racing career.
“My dad had a lot to do with my start in racing,” says Kevin. “As a hobby, he’s been working on cars since 1977, and was even a crew chief for a regional race team for a couple of years. He has always worked on stock cars. That’s how we got the money for me to race go-karts.”
In the ten years that he competed on the go-kart circuit, Kevin earned seven National Championships and two Grand National Championships. During that time, Kevin also learned the value of dedication and discovered the joy of success that would transform to the fierce determination that defines Kevin Harvick.
With the unyielding support of his parents and younger sister Amber, Kevin left the go-kart circuit to begin competing in the Featherlite Southwest Series - a regional touring division of NASCAR - in 1992. He ran a limited schedule for two seasons while completing high school, running a full schedule in 1995 and earning Rookie of the Year accolades.
Deciding to pursue a career in racing rather than study architecture in college, Kevin progressed to the Winston West Series.
“Racing is something I’ve wanted to do my whole life," says Harvick. “In 1997, when I was attending Bakersfield Junior College, the time came for me to make a choice about my future: I either had to focus on racing full-time, or decide on a new profession and begin training for it. I chose racing, and I’ve never looked back.”
Two years later, Kevin won five races on his way to the 1998 Winston West Series Championship.
A brief stint in the Craftsman Truck Series introduced Kevin to acclaimed car owner Richard Childress. Childress, having seen potential in Kevin's hard-charging driving style, offered him a ride in the Busch Grand National Series. Harvick accepted.
In February of 2000, the blue-and-white ACDelco Monte Carlo pulled out of the garage area at Daytona International Speedway with rookie Kevin Harvick at the wheel. A remarkable two-year campaign in the Busch Series had begun.
Kevin won three races and finished third in series points on his way to the Rookie of the Year title. On the track, he was known for his aggressive driving that led to a multitude of top-10 finishes. Off the track, his affable attitude and ever-present smile earned him the nickname "Happy."
Kevin began 2001 as the favorite for the Busch Series Championship title, and completed the year a Winston Cup superstar.
After losing Dale Earnhardt in a wreck on the final lap of the Daytona 500, car owner Richard Childress asked Kevin to assume driving duties of the GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo on the Winston Cup circuit. Despite the intense schedule and difficulty of driving full-time in two series, Kevin agreed and began the most incredible year of his life.
For having started on such a terrible note, the 2001 racing season was the best of Kevin's career - both personally and professionally.
On February 28, 2001, Kevin married DeLana Linville, whom he calls his "best friend," in a beautiful Las Vegas ceremony. Despite not having time for a honeymoon, Kevin and DeLana's first year of marriage was filled with incredible moments that DeLana called "wedding presents."
Those "wedding presents" included two Winston Cup wins - the first coming in Kevin's third start - and a Busch Series Championship, which Kevin earned on the strength of 20 top-5 finishes and five wins. Kevin also earned "Rookie of the Year" honors on the Winston Cup circuit, finishing 9th in points.
Kevin became the first driver in NASCAR history to run full-time on both the Busch and Winston Cup series - a total of 69 races - in one season, and the first to be named Winston Cup rookie of the year the same season that he earns the Busch Series Championship.
Where the Kevin Harvick story will end is left to the imagination. If Kevin's performance in his Winston Cup rookie season was any indication, he has many more chapters to fill...and many more championships to win.
Birthdate: Dec. 8, 1975
Birth Place: Bakersfield, Calif.
Car Number: 29
Team: Richard Childress Racing
Kevin's Official Website: kevinharvick.com