Kevin Harvick Throws It Back to His First NASCAR Cup Car for Darlington Throwback Race

Published 05/09/2021, 10:35 AM EDT
HOMESTEAD, FLORIDA – NOVEMBER 17: Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Busch Light Ford, prepares to start during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead Speedway on November 17, 2019 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)


Kevin Harvick made his NASCAR Cup Series debut all the way back in 2001. The Richard Childress Racing team were the ones to pick him up and give him a chance. Around that time, the outfit fielded the #29 car for him after he earned his promotion from the erstwhile Busch Series.

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On Sunday, Harvick will go down the memory lane and pay tribute to his first-ever Cup Series car in the Darlington Throwback race.

It was also the first time that the team did not field the #3 in a while. The best part was that he was sharing the #29 car with the legendary Dale Earnhardt. In fact, crew chief Rodney Childers admitted that the moment still gave him goosebumps. He even confessed that he cried like a baby.

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Little did he realize what would transpire later in the season. Dale Earnhardt Sr tragically lost his life at the Daytona 500, so Harvick at the unenviable job of filling the legend’s shoes. Nevertheless, he performed admirably to secure ninth in the Championship standings in his unexpected full-time debut.

Kevin Harvick has grown in leaps and bounds since then

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Throughout the rest of his Cup Series career, he has been quite impressive. Harvick remained in the RCR stable until the 2013 Cup Series season, with a team-best finish of third in 2011 and 2013. After that, he decided to look for a new challenge, and the Stewart-Haas Racing team pounced immediately.

BROOKLYN, MI – JUNE 11: Kevin Harvick, driver of the #29 Shell/Pennzoil Chevrolet, smiles during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 11, 2010 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

In the very first season itself, Harvick delivered his maiden Cup Series title for the team. Since then, he has never finished lower than eighth in the championship; other than that little hiccup, he has been a consistent top five finisher. Now, Kevin Harvick is going to revisit his NASCAR Cup Series roots and pay tribute to his first Cup car.

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Given that this was the car that he was supposed to share with Dale Sr, it has sentimental value. Even though Harvick is racing for Stewart-Haas, he is still paying tribute to Richard Childress Racing. The best part is that he is starting the race in 2nd place behind Brad Keselowski.

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Dhruv George

12012 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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