Kevin Michael Harvick (born December 8, 1975) is an American professional stock car racing driver. He currently competes full-time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, driving the No. 4 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing, and part-time in the Xfinity Series, driving the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro for JR Motorsports. Harvick is the former owner of Kevin Harvick Incorporated, a race team that fielded cars in the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series between 2004 and 2011. He is the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and a two-time Xfinity Series champion. Harvick holds the all-time record for Cup Series wins at Phoenix International Raceway with eight wins. Harvick is also the third winningest driver in Xfinity Series history with 46 wins.
Harvick, who began his NASCAR career in 1995, is the third of only four drivers that have won a championship in both the Sprint Cup Series and the Xfinity Series, and the fifth of only twenty-six drivers to win a race in each of NASCAR's three national series.
Harvick was born in 1975 in Bakersfield, California to parents Mike and JoNell (Fitterer) Harvick. He has a younger sister, Amber and an older brother Clayton. Harvick began kart racing at an early age, after his parents bought him a go-kart as a kindergarten graduation gift in 1980. Over the next decade Harvick achieved considerable success on the go-cart racing circuit, earning seven national championships and two Grand National championships. In 1992, he started racing late models part-time in the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series and he competed there while still in high school. While in 5th grade Harvick gave a glimpse of his future career plans when he completed a class project poster listing his goals as competing in NASCAR and racing at the Indy 500. Harvick's father, a firefighter and fixture around the Bakersfield racing scene, built him his first car to compete in the lower NASCAR Series by using the money he earned to run his own garage, Harvick Motorsports. When Harvick could not race, such as in the winter, he competed on his high school wrestling team at North High School in Bakersfield winning a CIF Central Section title in his weight class his senior year. Growing up Harvick also participated in baseball, basketball, football, and soccer. Originally intending to attend college and major in architecture, Harvick took classes at Bakersfield College. However he found his heart was in racing and dropped out to continue his racing career full-time.
Harvick has stated countless times that his favorite driver growing up was 4-time Indy 500 champion Rick Mears who grew up at and was an idol of Bakersfield, California.
Harvick made his Craftsman Truck Series (now known as Camping World Truck Series) debut in 1995 at the Mesa Marin Raceway, in his hometown of Bakersfield, where he started and finished 27th in his family-owned No. 72. He drove four races in the No. 72 the next season, his best finish was 11th at Mesa Marin. In 1997, he signed to drive the No. 75 for Spears Motorsports mid-season, posting two eighth-place finishes. He ran a full schedule the next season, posting 3 top-fives and finishing 17th in points. Harvick also moved up to the NASCAR Grand National Division, AutoZone West Series in 1997, and in 1998 Harvick won five races on his way to the Winston West Series championship while driving for Spears. He received his first real national exposure during the winter of 1997/1998 on ESPN2's coverage of the NASCAR Winter Heat Series at Tucson Raceway Park. In 1999, he drove the No. 98 Porter Cable Ford for Liberty Racing, finishing 12th in points with six top-fives.
1999–2000: NASCAR Busch Series
On October 23, 1999, Harvick made his first NASCAR Busch Series (now Xfinity Series) start in the Kmart 200 at the Rockingham Speedway in the No. 2 Chevrolet. He would start 24th and finish 42nd due to engine failure. The race would be his only start in 1999. In 2000, Harvick would sign with Richard Childress Racing to drive the No. 2 Chevrolet for his first full Busch Series season. Despite failing to qualify the second race of the season at Rockingham, Harvick would go on to win the NASCAR Busch Series Rookie of the Year with 3 wins, 8 top-five finishes and 16 top-tens as well as garnering a third-place points finish.
2001: Cup Series debut
For 2001, Childress planned to run Harvick in the No. 2 Chevy in the Busch Series full-time again, while developing him into the Winston Cup Series (now Sprint Cup Series) with up to seven races in the No. 30 Chevy. He planned to race Harvick for a full schedule in 2002. The death of Dale Earnhardt on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500 changed Childress's plans, and Harvick began his first Sprint Cup race the following week in the Dura Lube 400 at Rockingham.
On March 11, 2001 in the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, only three weeks after Earnhardt's death, Harvick won his first career Winston Cup victory in just his third start by narrowly edging Jeff Gordon. He won the race by only six one-thousandths of a second (.006), proving to be one of the closest finishes in NASCAR history since the introduction of electronic scoring in 1993. After the win, Harvick performed a tire-smoking burnout on the front stretch. Remembering Dale Earnhardt, with three fingers held aloft outside the driver's window, he ran the track backwards as a show of honor and respect. Winning in his third career start, Harvick became the fastest driver to win his first Winston Cup race in the modern era, breaking the record set by Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in 2000. Harvick has since been surpassed by Jamie McMurray and Trevor Bayne, both of whom accomplished the feat in their second starts.
He won his second career Cup victory at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois. At the end of the season, he finished with two victories, six Top 5's, and 16 Top 10's. Harvick was awarded with the NASCAR Rookie of the Year Award, and secured a ninth-place finish in the 2001 points standings. He also won the Busch Series championship, becoming the first driver to win the Busch Series championship while also driving full-time in the Winston Cup Series with a Top 10 finish. Harvick would end the season winning six pole positions, and making 69 starts: 35 in Cup Series, an appearance in the The Winston, 33 in the Busch Series, and one in the Craftsman Truck Series at Richmond International Raceway for Rick Carelli.
In 2002, Harvick would spend the season concentrating on running the Cup Series and would only start four races in the Busch Series. He would only have one Top 10 in those four starts. Harvick began the 2002 season making his first Daytona 500 starting on the outside pole next to Jimmie Johnson, but his day ended after triggering an 18-car crash on lap 148, allowing him to finish 36th. Later in the season, he made a fine for a post-race incident with Greg Biffle at Bristol Motor Speedway. He was suspended for rough driving in a Truck race at Martinsville, in which he intentionally spun out driver Coy Gibbs, allowing NASCAR to immediately take him out of the race. Even though it was heard on the radio that he actually did, Harvick lied in a post-race interview saying that he didn't purposely wreck Gibbs. Harvick was banned from the Cup Series race the next day, which meant that Kenny Wallace would replace him. Harvick scored his first career Winston Cup pole position in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona. Later in the season, he scored his third Winston Cup Victory at Chicagoland Speedway. He finished 21st in the 2002 points standings with one win, one pole, five Top 5's and eight Top 10's. Harvick became the 2002 IROC Champion in his first season in the Series, winning at California Speedway. In Trucks, Harvick began fielding his own No. 6 truck, driving himself in five races and winning at Phoenix.
In the 2003 season, Harvick teamed with now former crew chief Todd Berrier in the Cup Series, with whom he had won the Busch championship in 2001. Together, they won the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis. Harvick and his team jumped to fifth in the 2003 point standings, coming within 252 points ahead of Matt Kenseth. In the Busch Series, Harvick was teamed with Johnny Sauter, driving the No. 21 Hershey's-sponsored PayDay car. The two would combine for three wins, 16 Top 5's, and 24 Top 10's, with Harvick posting all three wins. They would give Childress the NASCAR Busch Series owner's championship that season, with the driver's championship going to Brian Vickers. It would be the first time that the championship would be split between two teams. Harvick competed in 19 of the 34 races, and Sauter competed in the other 15. Harvick also scored eight pole positions and finished 16th in the final point standings.
While winless in the 2004 season, Harvick placed third in the voting for Most Popular Driver. He had fourteen Top 10 finishes and finished 14th in points. In 2004, Harvick was again paired with another driver in the Busch Series, rookie Clint Bowyer. They combined for one win, 13 Top 5's, and 20 Top 10's in the No. 21 car, with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups being promoted. Harvick drove the No. 29 Busch car in the final race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the Ford 300, which he would claim his second win of the season. He finished 20th in the final standings. The No. 21 car finished fourth in the owner's standings.
In the 2005 season, Harvick's only Cup win came at the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, despite starting towards the rear of the field. He won without the assistance of Crew Chief Todd Berrier, who was serving a four-week suspension for a rules violation. The following year, he continued driving the No. 29 car for Childress in the Sprint Cup Series. In the Busch Series, Harvick was paired with Brandon Miller. Harvick and Miller combined for 3 wins, 15 top-fives and 19 top-tens to give the No. 21 its second fourth-place finish in the owner's standings. Harvick would also drive the No. 29 Cup car to Victory Lane in the first "sweep" of his career on Monday, April 4, 2005 in the Rain-Delayed Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway to go along with the Food City 500 win the day before, to give him a record fourth Busch Series win at the track (tying with Morgan Shepherd). Harvick finished 18th in the driver's standings.
In 2006, Harvick decided to run both of NASCAR's Top 2 series full-time. He won his first Busch Series race of the 2006 season. He followed the win with a weekend sweep of the Busch Series and Sprint Cup races at Phoenix International Raceway. Later in the season, Harvick won the Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International.
On September 9, 2006, Harvick, only needing to finish 40th or better to clinch a spot in the Chase, did better by slipping by Kyle Busch in turn 4 going into the final lap and holding onto the lead to win the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway. This was his third win of the season, and his second "sweep" of the season, having won the Emerson Radio 250 the night before. This allowed Harvick, along with teammate, Jeff Burton, their first berth, and first for Richard Childress Racing, in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. On September 17, 2006, starting from the Pole, Harvick won the first race of the Chase at New Hampshire International Speedway, in the Sylvania 300. He dominated the race and by winning, was able to take the lead in the point standings for the first time in his career.
Harvick would have a substandard Chase run. He fell to sixth place in the point standings, until he finished third at Texas. Following that was another dominating performance in the Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 12. Harvick would win that race, moving him up to third in points. At the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Harvick would finish fifth in the race and slip to fourth in the final standings to eventual 2006 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson. In the Busch Series, Harvick would be scheduled to run all 35 races, with three different cars (#21, No. 33, #29) and two different teams, Richard Childress Racing and his own team, Kevin Harvick Incorporated. Harvick had 9 wins, 23 Top 5's, and 32 Top 10's. He clinched the 2006 NASCAR Busch Series championship on October 13, 2006 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in the Dollar General 300. It was the earliest clinch of the championship ever in the Busch Series, locking up the title with four races to go. He ended the season with a record 824-point margin in the final standings.
On February 18 in the season-opening Daytona 500, Harvick claimed his first NASCAR Cup Series victory in a restrictor plate race with a dramatic final lap pass over Mark Martin by .020 seconds in a green-white-checkered finish, the closest margin at the 500 since electronic scoring started in 1993. The race was on the sixth anniversary of the death of Dale Earnhardt. He would become only the fourth NASCAR driver to sweep both the Nationwide and Cup races in the opening weekend at Daytona (along with Bobby Allison in 1988, Darrell Waltrip in 1989, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2004. Harvick also tied Benny Parsons for the fewest number of laps led by a Daytona 500 winner; Parsons won the race in 1975 (Harvick's birth year) after leading just four laps. He started 34th (the lowest starting spot ever for a winner at Daytona) and he became the first Nationwide Series champion to win the Daytona 500 the following year. With the win, Harvick also became the sixth of seven drivers to win both the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400, following Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Dale Jarrett, Bill Elliott, Jimmie Johnson, and proceeding Jamie McMurray.
Four days after Harvick's Daytona 500 win in his first race with Shell-Pennzoil as the primary sponsors, his team owner Richard Childress was asked by NASCAR to downsize the Shell logo on his fire suit and to have Harvick wear a more prominent Pennzoil logo, in an effort to play down any perceived competition with NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco. This company asked NASCAR to talk with Childress after Harvick won both the Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series races wearing a prominent Shell logo on his fire suit. For the rest of the season, Harvick won the Sprint All-Star Race and finished 10th in points.
In 2007, Harvick started the Nationwide Series season by winning the Orbitz 300 at Daytona, claiming his first win in a restrictor plate race, as well as the first win for new sponsor AutoZone in NASCAR's Nationwide Series. He also won at New Hampshire International Speedway, winning the Camping World 200 presented by RVs.com. He also ended up unexpectedly winning the inaugural race at Montreal in August, the NAPA Auto Parts 200, after with two laps to go, leader Robby Gordon was black-flagged for intentionally causing a crash involving rookie Marcos Ambrose. The win was considered a bit of an upset as many expected the road course ringers to dominate and Harvick had started 43rd in the race due to a driver change.
Harvick went winless in 2008, but he was still able to post a fourth-place ranking in the 2008 Chase for the Sprint Cup. The fourth-place finish in the 2008 standings tied 2006 for his highest points position at the end of the season. Harvick also went the entire season without a single DNF for the second straight year. In the Nationwide Series, he ran twenty-two races for his own team with sponsorship from Camping World, Rheem, and RoadLoans. He did not win a race in this series either. His lone win came in a Truck race at Phoenix.
Harvick started the 2009 season by winning the Budweiser Shootout with a last-lap pass on Jamie McMurray, reminiscent of his win in the 2007 Daytona 500. He also launched a new social networking site, Fan Central, for his fans. A few days later, Harvick damaged his primary car for the 2009 Daytona 500. The team decided to switch to the car he drove in the shootout. Harvick went on to finish 2nd in the second shortest Daytona 500 in NASCAR history.
At the Auto Club Speedway in California, Harvick blew his engine and it forced him to not finish the race, which resulted in his first DNF in 82 starts. Harvick won the first 2009 Nationwide Series race at Bristol, his 1st win in his own car. In addition, he won the Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway. During the season, Gil Martin became the new crew chief for Harvick as Childress decided to switch all team members of the No. 07 and No. 29 except the drivers and spotters, thus giving Casey Mears Harvick's crew chief Todd Berrier. In the first five races following the switch, Harvick finished with an average of 25.4, finishing 34th, 11th, 41st, 17th, and 24th respectively. A short time later, reports surfaced stating that Harvick had asked a release of his contract at the end of the 2009 season to secure a ride at Stewart Haas Racing for the 2010 season. Harvick did not comment publicly on the subject of where he would be driving in 2010. The first race after the story broke, Kevin finished 6th at the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. His best race came at the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where Harvick had the best car in a long run and led for most of the race, but was denied victory after a late race caution from which later eventual race winner Kasey Kahne took advantage of when he went past Harvick on the restart; he finished 2nd.
Harvick started 2010 the same way he did in 2009 by winning the Budweiser Shootout with a pass in the penultimate lap in a green-white-checkered situation seconds before an incident behind them, resulting then in a caution that automatically ended the race. Harvick placed 2nd in his Gatorade Duel by inches to Jimmie Johnson. He led the most laps in the Daytona 500, but ended up finishing 7th. He followed up his 7th at Daytona with a 2nd at Fontana, California's Auto Club Speedway again to Jimmie Johnson; after the race, Harvick told media members that the No. 48 team (Jimmie Johnson) "had a golden horseshoe stuck up their ass". Following the race, Harvick followed up with another 2nd-place finish to Johnson at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as well as a Nationwide Series win. He won the Aaron's 499 in a crazy Lap 200 (third green-white-checker finish situation) pass of Jamie McMurray that was the 88th lead change of the race, setting a new NASCAR record. It was speculated by McMurray's team owner Felix Sabates that Harvick was below the yellow line when he made the pass, but this was denied by NASCAR at track. On July 3, Harvick captured his 2nd win of the year by winning the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona. On August 15, Harvick captured his third win of the year by winning the Carfax 400 at Michigan. His win at Michigan locked him into the Chase for the Sprint Cup for the fourth time. He finished the regular season first place in points, but started the Chase in third after the points were adjusted. During the 10-race Chase, Harvick scored 5 top-fives and 9 top-tens. Despite scoring an average finish of 5.8 (best in the 2010 Chase and third best all-time in the Chase), Harvick finished 3rd overall, 41 points behind 2010 Champion Jimmie Johnson. It was still the best overall finish of his career in the Sprint Cup standings. Had the pre-Chase points system still been in use, Harvick would have been the Sprint Cup champion for 2010.
Harvick also won his first career Pole in the Camping World Truck Series at Gateway International Raceway in his own No. 2 Chevrolet Silverado. This added Harvick to the short list of NASCAR drivers who have won a pole award and a race in each of NASCAR's three major series.
With the departure of Royal Dutch Shell at the end of 2010 (moves to Penske Racing) announced in the spring, the No. 29 team was searching for a new sponsor. In August, it was announced that, for 2011, the car's primary sponsor will be with Belgian brewery InBev's Budweiser brand for 20 races. Adding to Harvick's new sponsorship, on January 25, 2011, Jimmy John's and Richard Childress Racing reached a multi-year agreement to sponsor the No. 29 Sprint Cup team for 6 races in 2011. On March 27, 2011, Harvick won his 15th career Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway after passing defending series champion, Jimmie Johnson, in the final turn in a finish resembling the previous race in 2010. As a joke to Harvick's words in 2010 at the same race Johnson asked Harvick in post-race ceremonies if "I can have my golden horseshoe back."
Harvick took his second consecutive win of the year at Martinsville Speedway, beating Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in the final 10 laps. Following on-track incidents both during and immediately after the Showtime Southern 500 (Darlington) with Kyle Busch, Harvick was placed on probation for 4 races (plus the NASCAR All-Star Race) and fined $25,000. Harvick then won the Coca-Cola 600 after Earnhardt, Jr. ran out of fuel in the last turn on Lap 402, finishing off a career accomplishment of winning all three current majors and the Brickyard 400, but is not eligible for a Career Grand Slam because of the Ferko lawsuit that wiped out his chance at the mark – only eight drivers have scored since the lawsuit eliminated the fall race at Darlington, which was required for the Career Grand Slam. Harvick announced that he would shut down his NASCAR Nationwide/Camping World Truck Series race team Kevin Harvick Inc. because he wanted to focus on winning a NSCS (NASCAR Sprint Cup Series) championship. He sold KHI (Kevin Harvick Inc.) to Richard Childress.
In 2012 at Phoenix, Harvick led part of the race, battling former rival Kyle Busch, but Denny Hamlin led the rest of the race on the last pit stop. Harvick tried to close on Hamlin, but scored a second-place finish after he ran out of gas with two laps to go, leaving Hamlin the race winner. He managed to cross the finish line holding off the pack for second place. Although winless, Harvick made the Chase through consistency. At the second stop at Phoenix, Harvick avoided a chaos filled race to collect his only win of the season, and the 19th of his career.
In 2013 at Daytona, Harvick dodged a practice wreck in the last session of practice, and the same in the Sprint Unlimited. Later, he would go on and tie Tony Stewart's and Dale Jarrett's record for wins in the Sprint Unlimited. In his victory burnout moments after he won his car shut down and Harvick said, "I don't care!" 2013 was his last season with RCR, and he said, "I'm gonna finish better than I started!" He also won his Budweiser Duel, and though it seemed as if he would be the first driver to sweep the Sprint Cup events at Speedweeks, he was caught up in a crash on lap 35 of the Daytona 500 and finished 41st. Harvick won his first race of the season at the 2013 Toyota Owners 400, which ended Kyle Busch's four-year winning streak in the spring Richmond race.
At Talladega, Harvick was wiped out in the Big One on lap 43 and finished 40th.
At the Coca-Cola 600, Harvick took the lead on the last cycle of pit stops and held off Kasey Kahne to win his 2nd 600.
In qualifying for the 2013 Hollywood Casino 400, Harvick had a lap speed of 187.480 mph (301.720 km/h) for his first pole position since September 2006. He dominated the race, leading 138 laps, and survived a wreck-filled event to take his 3rd win of the season.
Harvick won his fourth race of the year at the Phoenix race, taking the lead at the white flag when Carl Edwards ran out of gas. His tenure at RCR came to an end the following week at Homestead-Miami with a 10th-place finish. Harvick finished the season third in points, with 4 wins, nine Top 5's, 21 Top 10 finishes, and 1 pole position.
2014: Championship season
On November 9, 2012, it was reported that Harvick would drive for Stewart-Haas Racing beginning in 2014 once his longtime contract expired with Richard Childress Racing. When Harvick was later asked if this was true at the Cup race in Phoenix, he refused to give a definite answer. He was repeatedly asked by reporters in victory lane at Phoenix and at the Championship buffet in Las Vegas, but he continued to refuse to answer.
However, at the same time, Richard Childress gave remarks to reporters, fans, and on his social media pages that confirmed Harvick was most likely leaving the team after 2013, and that he desired a ride at Stewart-Haas Racing.
It was officially confirmed on January 22, 2013 that Harvick would be switching teams. Harvick and Childress said the parting was mutual and that it was time for Harvick to move on. Stewart-Haas Racing did not confirm what sponsor or number Harvick would be given. During the official reports it was reported, but not officially told, that Budweiser was interested in staying with Harvick. Kevin Harvick and Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner Tony Stewart gave reports in the Summer of 2013 that Harvick would most likely drive the No. 4. On July 12, 2013, it was confirmed that Harvick would indeed drive the No. 4 but would replace Ryan Newman, who decided to part ways with Stewart-Haas Racing at the end of the season. Harvick retained Budweiser as his primary sponsor for 21 races, with Jimmy John's sponsoring the remaining races for the 2014 season. In October, it was announced that Harvick would also run a partial schedule in the Nationwide Series in 2014, competing in a minimum of 12 races for JR Motorsports.
Despite a second-place finish in his Budweiser Duel in a photo finish against Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne, Harvick failed post-race inspection, and his Duel finish was disallowed. As a result, Harvick started the Daytona 500 in 38th, getting in the 500 on a Provisional. Harvick ran up front during the Daytona 500, but was caught up in a last lap crash leaving turn 4, and was scored in the 13th position.
The following week at Phoenix, Harvick started 13th and dominated the race, leading 224 of 312 laps, holding off Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Brad Keselowski over the final seven laps to take the checkered flag in 1st place. This was Harvick's first win for Stewart-Haas Racing, and snapped a tie with Jimmie Johnson for most all-time wins at Phoenix.
However, following Phoenix came a bizarre five-race stretch in which Harvick finished 36th or worse four times, due to a hub failure at Las Vegas (41st), a cut oil line at Bristol (39th), a blown tire at Auto Club (36th) and an engine failure at Texas (42nd) – each time squandering one of the fastest cars on the track, as well as leading the most laps.
At Darlington, Harvick dominated the Bojangles' Southern 500 and overtook Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the final lap to win his second race for Stewart-Haas Racing. In the All-Star Race, Harvick came up short to Jamie McMurray. Harvick almost won the Coca-Cola 600 for a third time in four years, but a poor pit stop with 250 laps left cost him the race. He recovered to score a second-place finish but finished 5.55 seconds behind Jimmie Johnson.
Harvick won the pole, both at Michigan and Indianapolis. In the Irwin Tools Night Race, Harvick controlled the race early. His race however turned for the worse when he controversially made contact with Denny Hamlin while racing for the lead. Hamlin was angry over the collision and replied by angrily throwing his HANS Device at Harvick's car. Harvick was later penalized by NASCAR for speeding on pit road, ensuring an 11th-place finish. During the Chase, Harvick went on to win the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte, giving him his third win of the season.
At Martinsville, with four races to go in the Chase, Harvick was one of eight drivers still in the Chase. Halfway through the race, the field was checking up. Coming behind Harvick, Chase driver Matt Kenseth came in harder than the rest, and wrecked Harvick. Harvick later returned to the race but 42 laps down. Later during the race, he saw Kenseth approaching him in his mirror and purposely applied his brakes, trying to knock Kenseth's radiator out as retaliation for the earlier incident. Harvick finished 33rd, while Kenseth earned a solid 6th-place finish. Harvick told reporters that if he does not advance to the next round of the Chase, he would make sure Kenseth wouldn't make it to the Championship round at Homestead. This was the second time in 3-weeks that Kenseth was the center of attention, as he had physically attacked Brad Keselowski after a race at Charlotte two weeks prior to the incident with Harvick.
At Texas Motor Speedway, Harvick got a second-place finish, but started controversy after instigating a fight between Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski on pit road immediately following the race.
At Phoenix, Harvick won the race and swept both 2014 races at Phoenix, allowing him to transfer into the final round of the Chase at Homestead.
At Homestead-Miami Speedway, Harvick was consistent all day long, occasionally battling with Jeff Gordon for the lead. After a late caution, Harvick decided to pit with four tires. Rebounding after restarting outside the top 10, Harvick managed to reach the Top-5, when another caution occurred. Harvick took the lead away from Denny Hamlin, and in the end, held off fellow championship contender Ryan Newman to win the Ford Ecoboost 400 and the Sprint Cup Championship by one position over Newman. This was Kevin Harvick's first Sprint Cup Series championship in his career.
On January 25, 2015, it was reported that Harvick, along with Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski and Danica Patrick, would serve as a rotating analyst for Xfinity Series races with NASCAR on Fox. Harvick was the first of the four to commentate, starting at Daytona; he also worked at Las Vegas, Dover, and the Truck Series race at Talladega.
In the Sprint Unlimited, Harvick scored an 11th-place finish despite receiving minor damage to his car from a wreck early in the race.
Harvick started the season by finishing second in the Daytona 500. At Atlanta, he led 116 laps, but finished second to Jimmie Johnson. At Las Vegas, Harvick held off Martin Truex, Jr. to win his first race of the season. It was also his first win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Harvick won again the very next week for his fourth straight win at Phoenix and a record seventh win at the track overall. At Auto Club, Harvick managed to finish second, this time to Brad Keselowski. This brought his streak of Top 2 finishes to eight races overall. It appeared Harvick was on track to tie Richard Petty for most straight Top 2 finishes, but this streak came to an end with an eighth-place finish at Martinsville.
At Texas, Harvick battled Johnson for the win numerous times during the race, but was unable to catch him as he narrowly beat Dale Earnhardt, Jr. to the line, resulting in another second-place finish. He led 63 laps in the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan, but suffered a flat tire. Trying to recover, Harvick's day was cut short due to the race being called on lap 138 out of the 200 scheduled, due to torrential rain. Harvick's teammate, Kurt Busch, who was in a backup car, won the race. Harvick finished 29th. In the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma, he went on to finish fourth.
Harvick then went on to collect four straight Top 10 finishes at Daytona, Kentucky, New Hampshire, and Indianapolis. Upon returning to Pocono, his day ended quickly as he blew an engine just 20 laps into the race. He ended up in the 42nd position. It was his first DNF since the previous year's Duck Commander 500 at Texas. He nearly won the Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen, but ran out of gas on the last corner. This allowed Joey Logano, who was second at the time, to win the race. Harvick was able to cross the finish line, scoring a third-place finish. He then went on to finish second in the Pure Michigan 400 the following week, and at the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol as well. During Labor Day Weekend at Darlington in the Bojangles' Southern 500, he finished fifth after leading 44 laps. The first race of the Chase took place at Chicagoland. Harvick finished 42nd after getting a flat tire and spinning into the wall due to contact with Jimmie Johnson a few laps earlier on a restart. A confrontation did take place, after Harvick met with Johnson and punched him in the chest. Harvick dominated next week at Loudon, leading 216 of 300 laps. However, he ran out of gas, allowing Matt Kenseth to win. Harvick finished 21st, putting him in danger of being eliminated from the Chase. The following week at Dover International Speedway, Harvick dominated a majority of the race to earn third win of the season, leading 351 of 400 laps in the process. That win allowed Harvick to clinch a spot into the next round of the Chase, after narrowly avoiding being eliminated.
In the final race of the Contender Round at Talladega, Harvick was again in a tough situation. During a green-white-checker restart, Harvick's car was unable to accelerate, which triggered a multi-car wreck. Due to the caution being displayed quickly after the leaders crossed the line, the race was considered official, and Joey Logano was declared the winner. Denny Hamlin, who was competing with Harvick for a spot in the next round, was caught up in the wreck, and was eliminated from the Chase. Harvick managed to avoid the wreck, and finished 15th, advancing him to the next round in the Chase. Trevor Bayne, who was hit in the quarter panel by Harvick which triggered the wreck, accused him of intentionally spinning him out in order to secure a spot in the next round. Kevin Harvick and his crew chief, Rodney Childers, claimed that they had tried to move out of the way during the restart, knowing that their engine was failing. In the first race of the Eliminator Round, Harvick finished 8th at Martinsville. The next week at Texas, he managed to finish 3rd, despite having a faulty shifter which forced him to drive with one hand for the last several laps. In the final race before the Championship Round, at Phoenix, Harvick dominated the race, leading 143 of 219 laps. Unfortunately, the race did not go the distance due to rain, and at the time Dale Earnhardt Jr was the leader of the race due to the caution coming out during green flag pit stops, and he was ultimately the winner as well. Kevin Harvick finished the race in the 2nd position, advancing him to the Championship Round at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
At Homestead, Harvick came up one spot short of the championship, finishing 2nd in the race and the championship to Kyle Busch. With 3 laps to go, Harvick was closing in on Busch but ran out of time, finishing 2nd to him by 1.5 seconds.
Despite his second-place finish in the championship, Harvick had led the point standings for much of the regular season from the third race of the season at Las Vegas to the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond (a span of 24 races). After the latter race, he fell to fourth in the standings, allowing Johnson to take over in the top spot. He then fell to 15th (11 positions back) after the Chicagoland race as Matt Kenseth took over the points lead. After the fall Martinsville race, Harvick went back up to fourth in the standings. When the fall Phoenix race was shortened due to rain, Harvick retook the points lead.
Following a tough championship loss to Kyle Busch in 2015, Harvick would be determined to stay in championship form going into the 2016 season. In the 2016 Daytona 500, Harvick stayed up front during a majority of the race, and would end up finishing 4th. Harvick ran exceptionally well at Atlanta, where he led 131 laps, but faltered late in the race and finished 6th. At Las Vegas, Harvick would race with the flu. Harvick led only 1 lap, but despite not being a contender for the win, Harvick would finish 7th in the race.
Harvick would earn his first win of the season at Phoenix by beating Carl Edwards in a photo finish by a margin of 0.10, the closest finish in the track's history. The win was Harvick's eighth win at Phoenix. The very next week at Fontana, Harvick would dominate the race but would ultimately come up short due to an untimely caution with 3 to go.
Over the next several weeks, Harvick finished consistently in the Top 10. His first DNF of the season would soon come at Daytona, where he was involved in a big accident on lap 90. Another rough race would come five weeks later at Watkins Glen, due to heavy contact from David Ragan after spinning out with 7 laps to go. The next week, Harvick would nab his second win of the season at Bristol, where he held off Ricky Stenhouse Jr. for the last 50 laps of the race. After the race, Harvick invited teammate Tony Stewart to celebrate the win with him, as the race would be Stewart's last at Bristol Motor Speedway. Both drivers performed celebratory donuts on the frontstretch. Harvick would follow up the win with a 5th place finish at Michigan, and a 2nd place finish at the Southern 500 after leading the most laps.
Harvick currently holds the regular season points lead over Brad Keselowski by 43 points.
American Canadian Tour and ARCA REMAX series
On July 21, 2008, Harvick won $37,300 at the 35th annual TD Bank 250 presented by New England Dodge Dealers in Oxford, Maine. Harvick defeated tour regulars; Glen Luce and Joey Polewarczyk Jr to become the first active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver to win the 250. The event is traditionally one of New England's major short track races. Since his 1998 West Series championship, he has competed in four races with one win. He also made two starts in the ARCA RE/MAX Series in 1999 for Childress in the No. 20 Invinca-Shields/Realtree Chevrolet, finishing in the top-five both times.
Kevin Harvick Foundation
Established in 2010 by Harvick and his wife, DeLana, the mission of the Kevin Harvick Foundation (KHF) is to support programs that enrich the lives of children throughout the United States. The foundation works to not only improve the quality of life, but to help underprivileged youth find and realize their dreams by supporting programs such as the Kevin Harvick Athletic Scholarship Fund at California State University, Bakersfield, a camper cabin at Victory Junction, Baptist Children's Homes of NC, Boys & Girls Clubs, and Kevin's Krew.
Harvick married wife DeLana (Linville) Harvick on February 28, 2001 in Las Vegas, Nevada, shortly after his Sprint Cup Series debut. They had met the previous year at Michigan International Speedway where at the time she was working in public relations for fellow driver Randy LaJoie. DeLana had worked in a similar capacity for Jeff Gordon previously and had even dabbled in race driving herself. Her father is former NASCAR Xfinity Series (then known as Busch Series) driver John Paul Linville.
The couple live in Charlotte, North Carolina with their son Keelan. His wife, DeLana is an active participant in Harvick's career, co-owning and working with KHI Management LLC a Sports Management Agency, as well as frequently appearing on Harvick's pit box during Sprint Cup races.
Harvick has made several TV talk show appearances during his career on shows such as Late Show with David Letterman, Live with Regis and Kelly, Jim Rome is Burning, and The Tony Danza Show. He was also on the first season of FX's NASCAR Drivers: 360. It took an in-depth look at NASCAR drivers outside the track and the preparation it takes to be a NASCAR driver. Harvick has also been on MTV Cribs. He is an avid fan of the Philadelphia Flyers of the NHL. He also stated during the ESPN broadcast of the 2011 5-hour Energy 500, while there was a rain delay, that he was a fan of the New York Yankees baseball team. On August 10, 2011, Harvick threw out the ceremonial first pitch between the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Angels at Yankee Stadium.
On February 19, 2011, Harvick's new sponsor, Budweiser hosted "The Roast of Kevin Harvick", which had some of Kevin's opponents and teammates give their thoughts and opinions on the Sprint Cup driver.
Harvick was nicknamed "Happy Harvick" ironically due to his occasional temper outbursts. In fact, his pit sign, which is a smiley face, is a play on the nickname. He was called the "Bakersfield Basher" in his early years for his aggressive driving style.
Because of his last-second passes to win many of his races and his ability to start deep in the field and finish towards the front, he was nicknamed "Mr. Where did he come from?" by NASCAR on Fox announcer Mike Joy. In the 2011 season, commentators began referring to Harvick as "The Closer" for his late-passing wins.
Motorsports career results
(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)
Sprint Cup Series
|2002||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||2||36|
Camping World Truck Series
* Season still in progress.
1 Ineligible for series championship points.
ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Series
(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)
|ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Series results|
|1999||Richard Childress Racing||20||Chevy||DAY||ATL||SLM||AND||CLT||MCH||POC||TOL||SBS||BLN||POC||KIL||FRS||FLM||ISF||WIN||DSF||SLM||CLT|
24 Hours of Daytona
|24 Hours of Daytona results|
|2002||AGT||90||Flis Motorsports||Chevy Corvette|| Rick Carelli|
Davy Lee Liniger
|123||69 DNF||8 DNF|
International Race of Champions
(key) (Bold – Pole position. * – Most laps led.)
|International Race of Champions results|
- List of 2014 motorsport champions
- List of all-time NASCAR Cup Series winners
- List of NASCAR drivers who have won in each of top three series
- List of NASCAR Nationwide Series champions
- List of NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race drivers
- List of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions
- List of people from Bakersfield, California