Kevin Harvick and Bristol Motor Speedway
Every time Kevin Harvick steps onto Bristol Motor Speedway it must be like breathing in a familiar breath of air and he must feel like he’s come home again. After all, Harvick grew up racing on the half-mile, high-banked surface of Mesa Marin Raceway in his hometown of Bakersfield, California. He’ll be racing on home ground again tonight in Friday’s Food City 250, at about 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Bristol is one of Harvick’s most successful racing venues and if he wins tonight, he’ll sweep the season series at Bristol. Harvick is the all-time Nationwide Series leader at Bristol with five wins and 11 top five finishes in just 18 starts. Harvick is also the series champion in 2001 and 2006 and second on the all-time Nationwide Series victory list with 33. All but one of these wins was while he was racing with Richard Childress Racing, so he’ll be hungry for more.
Kevin Harvick’s KHI has had a very strong season that included five straight wins for Ron Hornaday in the Camping World Truck Series, the longest winning streak in a NASCAR Nationwide Series car in 38 long years. Tony Stewart and Bobby Labonte have also won a Nationwide Series race sitting behind the wheel of a Kevin Harvick Nationwide Series car. Harvick’s first win in March driving his own Nationwide Series car must have been special but a second win today would probably be like a double layer of icing on your cake.
Harvick and his wife DeLana built KHI up from the dirt to be more than just a hobby and the pressure has been on the last year to make KHI a success. This husband and wife combination is starting to see a little daylight in their journey and hopefully this is just the beginning of years of racing success for the team. They might be able to take a deep breath after the Food City 250 and release the pressure on the cooker that has been working for a year. KHI appears to be a team on the rise and if they can win today on a track that has always been a good one for Harvick, then they’ll have something that’s important with any sports athlete, confidence they can win.
Kevin Harvick isn’t the only car to be watching for if you’re out on the track of Bristol today. You should also look for the No. 5 of Ryan Newman, who has five to ten finishes after just six races at Bristol. The No 18 of Kyle Busch will be out on the track of Bristol, as well as the No 88 of Brad Keselowski, last week’s surprise winner over Busch and Vickers.
“Image: Zuma Press”