NASCAR Cup
NASCAR Cup
17 May
-
17 May
Event finished
20 May
-
20 May
Event finished
23 May
-
24 May
Event finished
27 May
-
28 May
Event finished
31 May
-
31 May
Event finished
07 Jun
-
07 Jun
Event finished
10 Jun
-
10 Jun
Event finished
14 Jun
-
14 Jun
Event finished
21 Jun
-
21 Jun
Event finished
27 Jun
-
27 Jun
Event finished
28 Jun
-
28 Jun
Event finished
05 Jul
-
05 Jul
Event finished
12 Jul
-
12 Jul
Event finished
15 Jul
-
15 Jul
Event finished
R
19 Jul
-
19 Jul
Race in
3 days
02 Aug
-
02 Aug
Next event in
16 days
R
Michigan
08 Aug
-
09 Aug
Next event in
22 days
R
Daytona II
16 Aug
-
16 Aug
Next event in
30 days
R
22 Aug
-
23 Aug
Next event in
36 days
R
Daytona III
29 Aug
-
29 Aug
Next event in
43 days
R
Darlington III
06 Sep
-
06 Sep
Next event in
51 days
R
Richmond II
10 Sep
-
12 Sep
Next event in
55 days
R
Bristol II
19 Sep
-
19 Sep
Next event in
64 days
R
Las Vegas II
25 Sep
-
27 Sep
Next event in
70 days
R
Talladega II
02 Oct
-
04 Oct
Next event in
77 days
R
Charlotte III
09 Oct
-
11 Oct
Next event in
84 days
R
Kansas II
18 Oct
-
18 Oct
Next event in
93 days
R
Texas II
25 Oct
-
25 Oct
Next event in
100 days
R
Martinsville II
30 Oct
-
01 Nov
Next event in
105 days
R
Phoenix II
06 Nov
-
08 Nov
Next event in
112 days

Kevin Harvick to surpass an Earnhardt milestone at Talladega

shares
comments
Kevin Harvick to surpass an Earnhardt milestone at Talladega
By:
Oct 12, 2019, 5:35 PM

Kevin Harvick’s NASCAR career doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon but it will reach an interesting milestone on Sunday.

Kevin Harvick
Kevin Harvick
Kevin Harvick
Dale Earnhardt
Dale Earnhardt in car before qualifying
Dale Earnhardt
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Jimmy John's
 Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Mobil 1
 Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Mobil 1

Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway will mark Harvick’s 677th career start in the series, one more than the total career starts of the driver he replaced in 2001, the late Dale Earnhardt.

Earnhardt died in a last-lap wreck in the 2001 Daytona 500, which was his 676th career start. The next week, Richard Childress Racing tapped Harvick to drive Earnhardt’s car – rebranded from No. 3 to No. 29 – for the remainder of the year. 

Two weeks later, Harvick secured his first series win, outlasting Jeff Gordon in a side-by-side duel to the finish at Atlanta and his career ballooned from there. 

“It should make a lot of us standing here feel old,” Harvick said on Friday at Talladega about his milestone start. “I think, as you look back and you don’t realize how long it actually has been and – and you guys have heard me say this before – but in the beginning it was really hard to understand the magnitude of the circumstances the first couple years, just because you didn’t really understand much about what was going on as you got into the second year and really started to understand what happened the year before.

“Sometimes you do things and then all of a sudden you get past those things and you haven’t really taken in all of the things that happen because you just didn’t understand them. Really, that first particular year we raced so much and the team protected me from so many things because we were on the road so much and didn’t have to really understand the magnitude of it, but there was no hiding from it over an offseason and the next year, as the expectations changed.

“But when you look at, like when I came in, we started racing 36 races and so it happened a little bit quicker than it would have with – I don’t know what the total number of years (Earnhardt raced) were – but I’m sure it’s more (his career covered 27 years).”

Perfect timing

It seems perfect timing that Harvick will surpass Earnhardt’s career start mark at Talladega, a track on which the former seven-time Cup series champion enjoyed his most success (10 wins) and won his last race in October 2000.

Earnhardt and Harvick’s former team owner, Richard Childress, will pace the field in Sunday’s race behind the wheel of the No. 3 Chevrolet Earnhardt drove to the final victory of his career. Childress will be joined in the car by Johnny Morris, founder of RCR sponsor Bass Pro Shops.

Harvick, now 43 years old, has enjoyed a resurgence of his career since moving to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014. He’s added 25 race wins and a series championship since and doesn’t appear ready to stop anytime soon.

“I consider myself a little bit of a late bloomer with the situation at Stewart-Haas and the championship and the enthusiasm that goes towards continuing to chase after a full season of racing, so I don’t see that ending anytime soon, I hope,” Harvick said.

“I think as you continue to be successful and with a group of people that you really enjoy being around, for me that is a lot of it and obviously having my family around and now that (daughter) Piper is old enough and having them at the track more, everybody is enthused about racing.

“We’re in a good spot.”

Next article
Daniel Hemric on 2020: "I think I will land on my feet"

Previous article

Daniel Hemric on 2020: "I think I will land on my feet"

Next article

Chase Elliott wins Talladega pole as Hendrick goes 1-2-3-4

Chase Elliott wins Talladega pole as Hendrick goes 1-2-3-4
Load comments

About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Talladega II
Author Jim Utter