500 and counting: Kevin Harvick to make milestone start in Texas
Kevin Harvick may be in the thick of a championship hunt, but the Stewart-Haas Racing driver is poised to make his 500th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway.
Harvick's Sprint Cup career got off to an ominous start, as he was tapped to replace Dale Earnhardt at Richard Childress Racing after the legendary driver lost his life on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500.
Thrust into such a high profile ride with such high emotions, Harvick rose to the occasion and won in dramatic fashion in just his third start.
Just weeks after Earnhardt's death, Harvick provided a bit of relief when he edged Jeff Gordon in a photo finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway that mirrored Earnhardt's win over Bobby Labonte at the same track one year earlier. After the win, he turned the white No. 29 Chevrolet around and celebrated with by holding three fingers in the air while saluting the cheering crowd on in the grandstands.
Despite stepping into that situation, Harvick never let the pressure get to him as he spent 13 years with RCR. Together, Harvick and RCR were able to win 23 races, including the 2003 Brickyard 400, 2007 Sprint All-Star Race and the 2007 Daytona 500.
After the 2013 season, Harvick moved on to Stewart-Haas Racing and partnered with crew chief Rodney Childers. The driver-crew chief combination hit the ground running and they have had one of the toughest cars all season long, scoring three wins and being a major factor in the Chase.
In total, Harvick has 26 career Sprint Cup wins, 111 top fives, 226 top 10s, and 14 poles through his first 499 starts, spanning 14 years.
As he celebrates this career milestone this weekend, Harvick has been using his Instagram account to share his four favorite memories.