Kevin Harvick Online
For kindergarten graduation in 1980, Kevin Harvick received a go-kart from his parents and began his storied racing career.
In the 10 years that he competed on the go-kart circuit, Harvick earned seven National Championships and two Grand National Championships. During that time, Harvick also learned the value of dedication and discovered the joy of success that would transform to the fierce determination that defines Kevin Harvick.
Harvick 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, Harvick progressed to the Winston West Series.
“Racing is something I’ve wanted to do my whole life,” said 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, Harvick won five races on his way to the 1998 Winston West Series Championship.
A brief stint in the Truck Series introduced Harvick to acclaimed car owner Richard Childress. Childress, having seen potential in Harvick’s hard-charging driving style, offered him a ride in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and Harvick accepted.
In February of 2000, the blue-and-white ACDelco Monte Carlo pulled out of the garage area at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway with rookie Kevin Harvick at the wheel. A remarkable two-year campaign in the Nationwide Series had begun.
During the 2000 Nationwide Series season, Harvick won three races and finished third in the series point standings on his way to the winning the Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors. On the track, he was known for his aggressive driving that led to a multitude of top-10 finishes, but off the track, his affable attitude and ever-present smile earned him the nickname “Happy.”
Harvick began 2001 as the favorite for the Nationwide Series Championship title and completed the year a Sprint Cup Series superstar.