With Kevin Harvick unveiling his No. 29 throwback that he’ll run in the 2023 All-Star race at North Wilkesboro, we at the Daily Downforce thought it’d be fun to take a look back at some of the more memorable victories of Happy Harvick’s Career.
#7 Michigan (2022)
After a career-high 9 wins on the 2020 season, Stewart-Haas Racing went on a steep decline in performance they still, as of 2023, have not bounced back from. While Kevin Harvick has been the best performing SHR driver in those handful of years, he, too, saw a dropoff in performance as he endured the longest winless streak of his career at 65 starts.
All of that came to an end, however, in 2022 as Happy Harvick was finally able to close the deal again at Michigan International Speedway. This victory showed that he was not down and out, like many considered him, as he was still fully capable of bring the No. 4 Busch Light Apple Mustang to victory lane.
#6 Richmond 2022
As his win at Michigan that same year snapped an career-high winless streak, his win the following week at Richmond was a statement victory as Happy Harvick won his 60th career win and firmly cashed his playoff ticket in a year full of parity.
#5 Chicagoland 2001
Following a much more rememberable win in the spring Atlanta race of 2001, Kevin Harvick scored his second career victory that same year in the inaugural Cup Series race at the now dormant Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois.
In some ways, this win might have meant more to Harvick’s career on its own as he wasn’t as much in the spotlight as Dale Earnhardt’s replacement.
#4 Coca-Cola 600 2011
As a life-long Dale Jr. fan, this is the one that hurts the most. Jr. was enduring the longest winless streak of his career and came short of only about 100-yards of winning the 2011 Coca-Cola 600. But this is where Harvick got his nickname, The Closer.
After all, he led the most important lap.
#3 Brickyard 400 2005
As Dale Earnhardt was the “first man” to win the Brickyard 400 in 1995, Kevin Harvick was able to cross the road of bricks first in the 10th edition of the race in 2003.
This win was significant as in 2002, the team was undergoing some significant growing pains with their new driver. This was when they really started hitting their stride. This was his first of three Brickyard wins.
#2 Daytona 500 2007
As Mark “the Kid” Martin announced his retirement from full-time driving following the 2006 NASCAR season, nobody predicted what would happen next: that he’d run nearly a full-season in 2007 before returning full-time altogether only a couple of years after that.
But what might have raised the eyebrows of NASCAR fans even more, thought, might have been the team he was driving for–Ginn Racing, which merged with DEI later on that year. Mark Martin has a long history of coming up just short of the “Big Prize” whether that prize is a NASCAR Cup Series title or the Daytona 500.
In the video below, Mark Martin came the closest he had ever come to winning the Great American Race only to be spoiled by the Closer himself in his fancy new Pennzoil colors that seem to have stood the test of time.
#1 Atlanta 2001
How could Atlanta 2001 not be Kevin Harvick’s greatest and most memorable victory? Just weeks after replacing arguably the greatest driver to ever pull the belts tight, Dale Earnhardt, young Kevin Harvick, who was a full-time Busch Series regular at the time, continued the healing process for RCR and the whole DEI team following Steve Park’s emotional win at Rockingham.
Harvick won the race in his No. 29 Monte Carlo in similar fashion as Dale did the year before. At the 2023 All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro, Happy Harvick will run the No. 29 one last time to pay homage to this win.
With Kevin Harvick’s #4Ever season shaping up to be the best retirement season since Jeff Gordon’s 2015 tour, it’ll be interesting to see what more wins Ole Happy can pick up.