Kevin Harvick expects pending fatherhood to change him as a person, not as a driver

External News Wire | 02/16/12

Sceen Daily - Jeff Owens

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – For the first time in his career, Kevin Harvick’s sole focus during the offseason was not on winning the Daytona 500 or his first NASCAR Cup championship.

Those things were on his mind, but in the back of his mind.

Instead, his focus and his life have been centered around one thing – baby talk.

Harvick, 36, and his wife, DeLana, are expecting their first child this summer and announced on Wednesday that it will be a boy.

The pending arrival has been such big news in the Harvick camp that DeLana’s first baby blog shut down on Wednesday.

When the Harvicks decided to start a family last year, it led to a series of moves that have affected his teams and Richard Childress Racing, including the merger of the two organizations.

“A lot of people were looking at us like we were crazy in September last year but it has all worked out great,” he said. “The family decision led into a snowball effect of things that started to happen. … I’ve changed everything from my chiropractor to my race team. Anything you can think of in between we have worked on and tried to make better.”

Since the decision was made to close their team, and the news that DeLana was expecting, their lives have changed dramatically.

“At first, it was hard to really understand what you were supposed to do when we were so used to getting up in the morning and going to work and seeing what kind of problems have occurred on that particular day and you go in and you try to unravel them and fix them,” Harvick said Thursday. “For us, this winter was more about how to relax and take care of yourself and work on the house and go on vacation and really use the offseason for what it was meant for. I’m excited to get back to the track and where my life is headed.”

Harvick, who has been racing in NASCAR’s top three series full-time since 1998, says the time was right to start a family.

“The good thing is that a lot of our friends have already gone through the process,” he said. “I tell a lot of people that we will probably be the most mature people at the school lunch or the PTA meetings because we did wait a little longer in life.

“But I think our life is a lot more settled than most parents going into these situations. … We’ve been through a lot of challenges in our lives, whether it was [moving to the Cup series after Dale Earnhardt’s death in] ’01 or race teams or getting rid of race teams. We’ve had to make a lot of decisions and been hands-on on a lot of things.

“When something like this is yours I think you do everything you can to make it right and a lot of things you change in your life that you want to do better to make your child’s life better and you talk about a lot of those things. It’s going to be a great challenge and it changes the direction of things you think about and do in your life.”

Harvick says he expects fatherhood to change him as a person, but not as a race-car driver.

“When you are having a bad day and you go into the motorhome door, it will be a lot easier to flip that switch off and separate yourself from the things that have happened during the day, and that’s a good thing,” he said. “That’s one thing I have learned over the winter, that it’s good to shut it off. You want to focus and give it 100 percent attention, but it will be good to shut that off for a few hours.”

He doesn’t expect it to change, however, that intensity and fire that have made Harvick one of NASCAR’s most temperamental and controversial drivers. His physical and verbal feud with Kyle Busch last year was one of the top stories of 2011 and is expected to carry over into 2012.

“[Being a father] probably won’t cross my mind in those particular competitive situations,” he said. “The drive and determination I don’t think changes. Obviously you want to set the best example that you can, but the competitor in you is still who you are. The day that that goes away, you won’t see me sitting here on the first day of the season.”

Article courtesy of Scene Daily:

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