Since joining Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) in 2014, Kevin Harvick has established himself as the fastest, most dominant and most consistent driver in the NASCAR Cup Series. A championship in 2014, a runner-up finish in the 2015 standings, third-place efforts in 2017, 2018 and 2019, and a regular-season title in 2020.
In seven seasons at SHR, Harvick has won 35 races and 25 poles, and his 11,139 laps led in that time nearly triples the 4,426 laps he led in the previous 13 seasons combined. In the 252 NASCAR Cup Series races since Harvick joined SHR, the No. 4 team has scored 60 top-twos, 126 top-fives and 180 top-10s.
Harvick won the 2014 NASCAR Cup Series championship in convincing fashion in his first year with SHR. It began with a dominating preseason test at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway and ended with an emphatic victory in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He defended his 2014 title down to the last race of the 2015 season at Homestead, where he finished as the series runner-up by one point to championship-winner Kyle Busch.
In 2014, Harvick won five races, tying his career best at the time. He won a career-high eight poles – two more than in his 13 previous seasons combined. He led 2,137 laps, becoming only the third driver to lead more than 2,000 laps in a single season since 2000. The most laps Harvick led in a single NASCAR Cup Series season prior to 2014 was 895 laps in 2006. Of the 24 NASCAR Cup Series track qualifying records set in 2014, Harvick accounted for six of them. No other driver had more than four. Lastly, the title allowed Harvick to become only the third driver to earn both a NASCAR Cup Series championship and a NASCAR Xfinity Series championship, joining Bobby Labonte and Brad Keselowski. Harvick is a two-time Xfinity Series champion, having scored those titles in 2001 and 2006. Busch and Martin Truex Jr., have since joined the elite group.
Harvick picked up in 2015 where he left off in 2014. He won three races, including back-to-back events at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Phoenix Raceway in March, and established new single-season career bests with 23 top-five finishes, including 16 top-twos and 28 top-10s through the 36-race season. Harvick also led 2,294 laps to eclipse the 2,000 laps-led mark for a second consecutive season, becoming the first driver to lead more than 2,000 laps in back-to-back seasons since Jeff Gordon in 1995 and 1996.
Harvick closed out the 2015 regular season with 978 points prior to the NASCAR Playoffs, which followed the 26th and final regular-season race at Richmond (Va.) Raceway. Harvick’s total through the first 26 races was the most under the current points system introduced in 2011, surpassing the 914 regular-season points scored by Greg Biffle in 2012 and Gordon in 2014.
In addition to his on-track success in 2015, Harvick also had a career year off the track. He was honored as the 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion by President Barack Obama on April 22 on the South Lawn of the White House, won an ESPY for “Best Driver,” appeared on NBC’s Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, and was feted in his hometown of Bakersfield, California, when mayor Harvey Hall proclaimed March 18, 2015 “Kevin Harvick Day”.
Harvick rode that momentum into 2016, scoring four wins – Phoenix in March, Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in August, New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon in September and Kansas Speedway in Kansas City in October. He scored two poles – at Charlotte in October and Homestead in November – and logged a series-best 17 top-fives, 27 top-10s, an average finish of 9.9 and a driver rating of 106.5. He is the only driver to have an average finish better than 10th in both the 2015 and 2016 NASCAR Cup Series seasons. He led 1,384 laps – the second-most laps of all drivers in 2016 – and he is the only driver to lead more than 1,000 laps in each season since 2014.
Harvick’s hard-charging ways remained unchanged in 2017, even as SHR changed manufacturers. Ford Performance became the team’s new partner, allowing Harvick to reunite with just the second manufacturer of his NASCAR career. His previous experience behind the wheel of a Ford dated back to the 1999 NASCAR Truck Series season when he piloted the No. 98 Ford F-150 for Jim Herrick.
While the team and driver started fresh with new Ford-powered Roush-Yates Engines, Harvick and the No. 4 team remained at the front of the field, securing a spot in the Championship 4 of the NASCAR Playoffs. Harvick ended up third in the final standings with two wins, four poles, 14 top-fives and 23 top-10s.
In 2018, Harvick won a career-high eight races – tied for most during the season. He finished third in the standings, but scored four poles and had 29 top-10 finishes – his most ever. He also won the prestigious non-points NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte to become just the seventh driver to win multiple All-Star events.
Harvick kept on winning in 2019, scoring four victories and capturing a series-leading six poles. And in the season finale at Homestead, Harvick led his 14,000th lap, putting him 11th on the all-time NASCAR lap leader list.
The 2020 season was arguably Harvick’s best, even if it didn’t end with a championship celebration. At age 44, Harvick won a series-best nine races, and his first of the year May 17 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway was his milestone 50th NASCAR Cup Series victory. The nine-win tally was a new career high and, combined with his league-leading 20 top-fives and 27 top-10s, Harvick earned the regular-season title. He made his 700th career Cup Series start July 19 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth and in the same race surpassed 200,000 laps completed in his Cup Series career.
After finishing among the top-five in the NASCAR Cup Series championship standings six times prior to 2014 (his previous career-high points finish was third, which he accomplished in 2010, 2011 and 2013), Harvick is a NASCAR Cup Series champion who has finished outside the top-five only once since joining SHR. He has advanced to the Championship 4 five times, including a run of three straight (2017-2019).
Harvick has 58 career NASCAR Cup Series victories, which puts him in sole possession of ninth on the all-time Cup Series win list. (Next on the all-time win list is NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt with 76 victories.) And Harvick’s wins include all four of NASCAR’s crown-jewel events: the Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte, the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Southern 500 at Darlington. The only other drivers in NASCAR history to accomplish this feat are Earnhardt, Gordon and Jimmie Johnson.
In addition to his impressive performance in the NASCAR Cup Series, Harvick has two Xfinity Series championships and 47 Xfinity Series wins, along with 14 Truck Series victories.
Harvick’s drive was set into motion at age 5 thanks to a go-kart he received from his parents for his kindergarten graduation. After gaining experience, Harvick began racing at local tracks at age 7. For 10 years, he was a force on the karting circuit, earning seven national championships and two Grand National championships.
With an impressive resume of wins in the karting ranks, Harvick made the move to full-bodied stock cars in 1992. He competed at local racetracks in the Late Model division and, in 1993, won the Late Model championship at his hometown track, Mesa Marin Speedway in Bakersfield.
When not wrestling a stock car, Harvick competed on the wrestling team at Bakersfield’s North High School. Upon graduation, Harvick followed his dreams and pursued a professional racing career.
He advanced to the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Tour full-time in 1995, earning rookie-of-the-year honors and finishing 11th in points. Harvick also made his first career Truck Series start on Oct. 15, 1995 at Mesa Marin, where he started and finished 27th in his family-owned No. 72 truck.
Harvick drove four more Truck Series races for his family-owned team in 1996, but in 1997 he took over the No. 75 Spears Motorsports entry in the Truck Series for the second half of the season, scoring two top-10s.
In 1998, Harvick kept a busy racing schedule as he drove the Spears truck full-time while also competing full-time in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. Harvick’s commitment to his racing career paid off as he won five races en route to the K&N West championship.
Harvick moved to Jim Herrick Racing in 1999 and drove the No. 98 truck to 11 top-10s and a 12th-place result in the Truck Series standings.
Harvick’s hard-charging style and success behind the wheel caught the eye of NASCAR team owner Richard Childress, who selected Harvick to drive the team’s No. 2 entry in the Xfinity Series for the 2000 season.
In his first full season with Richard Childress Racing, Harvick scored three wins and finished third in the championship while claiming rookie-of-the-year honors. Along the way, he gained a reputation for being aggressive on the track, but off the track his affable attitude and ever-present smile earned him the nickname “Happy.”
Harvick was set to compete full-time in the Xfinity Series in 2001 while making select NASCAR Cup Series starts for Childress’ No. 30 team. But his career path was forever altered on Feb. 18, 2001, when the legendary Earnhardt lost his life in an accident on the final lap of the Daytona 500.
Days following the tragedy, Childress appointed Harvick to drive in place of Earnhardt, renumbering the famous No. 3 machine to No. 29 in time for the second race of the season at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham. This new role was in addition to Harvick’s duties in the Xfinity Series, where he was competing for the championship.
Harvick proved he was up to the daunting task of following an icon when, in his third NASCAR Cup Series start, he won March 11 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. As the season continued, so did Harvick’s winning ways as he claimed the checkered flag in the inaugural race at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois. He earned rookie-of-the-year honors en route to a ninth-place finish in the season-ending championship.
In addition to his success in the NASCAR Cup Series, Harvick scored five wins in the Xfinity Series to claim his first Xfinity championship. He became the first driver in NASCAR history to compete full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series and Xfinity Series. He also became the first driver to earn the NASCAR Cup Series rookie-of-the-year title while also claiming the Xfinity Series championship.
Harvick’s strong performance during his rookie season in the NASCAR Cup Series earned him a spot competing against all-star drivers from a variety of racing disciplines in the 2002 International Race of Champions (IROC), and the young driver did not disappoint. He scored a victory at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, and tallied four top-10s, which led him to the championship in the prestigious four-race series.
Harvick’s second season in the NASCAR Cup Series produced his first career pole in July 2002 at Daytona and a second consecutive victory at Chicagoland.
While hitting his stride in the NASCAR Cup Series, Harvick started another venture. He fielded his own team in five Truck Series races in 2002. Harvick’s team posted four top-10s in five races and scored a victory in November at Phoenix. It was Harvick’s first Truck Series win and his first in his own equipment, signaling the beginning of Kevin Harvick, Inc.
In 2003, Harvick became the first driver to win the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis from the pole position. He posted 11 top-fives and 18 top-10s and finished the season fifth in points. He also scored three Xfinity victories and one Truck Series win.
While Harvick was winless in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2004, he went to victory lane twice in the Xfinity Series. In 2005, Harvick earned one NASCAR Cup Series win and four Xfinity Series wins.
Harvick enjoyed a breakout year in 2006, winning five races and scoring 20 top-10s en route to a fourth-place finish in the NASCAR Cup Series championship. That same season, Harvick was on fire in the Xfinity Series, in which he competed full-time and earned his second title with nine victories, 23 top-fives and 32 top-10s.
He continued winning in 2007 by edging veteran Mark Martin by .020 of a second to win the season-opening Daytona 500. Later that year, he scored another huge victory as he won the non-points All-Star Race at Charlotte and took home the $1 million prize. He finished the season 10th in points.
Harvick also racked up six Xfinity victories in 2007. But Harvick the owner enjoyed the most success in 2007 as his Truck Series team earned its first championship with NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Ron Hornaday Jr.
While Harvick didn’t reach victory lane in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2008, he produced performances strong enough to make the playoffs before finishing fourth in the season-ending standings. He also earned a Truck Series win at Phoenix.
Harvick started the 2009 season with a win in the non-points Budweiser Shootout at Daytona, but he didn’t get back to victory lane the rest of the year. He finished the season with nine top-10s. While Harvick the driver didn’t have the best season on track, his Truck Series team scored its second championship with Hornaday.
The 2010 season began just like 2009 – with a Harvick victory in the Budweiser Shootout. But that was the only similarity between the two campaigns. Harvick led the 2010 NASCAR Cup Series standings for 20 weeks and battled for the series championship right through the season finale at Homestead. He finished third in the standings with three victories, 16 top-fives and 26 top-10s.
Harvick finished third in points for the second consecutive season in 2011 by scoring four wins, nine top-fives and 19 top-10s. He also celebrated his Truck Series team’s third owners’ title. It signaled the end of an era, however, as the team ceased operations following the 2011 season.
While Harvick’s 2012 season saw him score just a single NASCAR Cup Series victory, it was perhaps his most memorable year as he and wife DeLana welcomed their first child – Keelan Paul Harvick.
Harvick’s focus was undeterred in 2013 despite announcing he and Childress would part ways at the end of the season. He established himself as a contender for the championship and amassed four victories, including one from the pole at Kansas. He scored nine top-fives and 21 top-10s while finishing third in points.
In addition to being a racer, Harvick is a dedicated philanthropist. He and DeLana formed the Kevin Harvick Foundation in 2010 to support programs that positively enrich the lives of children throughout the United States.
The Kevin Harvick Foundation funded the construction of the Kevin Harvick Youth Development Park in Greensboro, North Carolina. The multi-purpose sports complex opened in 2015 and marked the 40th facility built by the Cal Ripken, Sr., Foundation for use by Boys & Girls Clubs across the country. The Kevin Harvick Foundation constructed its second youth development park in Harvick’s hometown of Bakersfield in 2016. A third park, The Jake Owen Field, is the latest in a string of projects with the Cal Ripken, Sr., Foundation and was constructed in Vero Beach, Florida. Each park, located in an underserved community, features a synthetic-surface, outdoor field suitable for soccer, baseball, flag football and lacrosse.
The Harvicks welcomed their second child, Piper Grace Harvick, on Dec. 28, 2017. The family resides in Charlotte and enjoys golfing, outdoor activities and attending sporting events.