Kevin Harvick’s racing career didn’t begin on some dirt track at the young age of four or five. It actually began much earlier from inside a playpen watching his dad work on cars in his garage. Kevin did receive his first go-kart at the age of five as a kindergarten graduation present and in a ten year career competing on the go-kart circuit, Kevin won the National Championship seven times and the Grand National Championship twice. In 1992 he moved on to the Featherlite Southwest series and raced a limited schedule while he finished up school. In 1995 he ran his first full season and was named Rookie of the Year.
Kevin spent from 1995 to 1999 competing in the Craftsman Truck series racing in a total of 69 events and placing 12th in points in 1999. In 2000 Richard Childress offered Harvick a ride in the Busch Grand National series driving the AC Delco car. Kevin won two races and was third in the points standing. He also captured the Rookie of the Year title. His hard driving style on the track and easy going manner and constant smile off the track earned him the name “Happy”. Kevin was the favorite for the BGN Championship title going into the 2001 season.
The tragic death of Dale Earnhardt on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500 left a void in the world of racing as well as on the Richard Childress Racing team. Childress asked Harvick to take over as driver of the Goodwrench Monte Carlo. Harvick agreed despite the fact that racing in two series in one season would be grueling.
Kevin Harvick won two Winston Cup races, his first coming on his third start of the season. He had five BGN wins and ended his season as Busch Grand National Champion. He was also named Winston Cup Rookie of the Year becoming the first driver to win both awards in the same year in NASCAR history. He was also the first driver ever to run full seasons in both series (running a total of 69 races) and took 9th place despite having one less start than all the drivers in the top 25.
In 2002 Harvick got his first Winston Cup pole and the following week went to victory lane with a win at the Tropicana 400. He had seven top-ten finishes. He also won his first Craftsman Truck series event and the IROC Championship at Indianapolis Motorspeedway.
Kevin Harvick’s 2003 season netted him one of the Winston Cup biggies with a win at the Brickyard 400 from the pole, the first NASCAR driver to do so. He had 19 top-10 finishes including six second place finishes. He was one of only two drivers to complete the season without a DNF and his consistency paid off with a fifth place finish at the end of the season
Harvick started the 2004 Nextel Cup series with a fourth place finish at the Daytona 500.