Harvick knows best

Sprint Cup champ believes fatherhood will change Busch and Keselowski

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – It’s looking like the race prior to the Coca Cola 600 in May could be the Baby 500, with Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski’s significant others expecting children that week.

For Busch, the information has been out for some time. His wife Samantha has used social media – and plenty of photos - to chronical their little shrub.

One scribe went as far as to ask Busch what was a bigger deal, winning the Daytona 500 or having the baby.

The driver replied tongue in cheek, "Right now, the Daytona 500 would definitely be bigger, but All-Star week in May, it's probably definitely going to be the birth of my son.

"Both I just couldn't imagine. I can't imagine the feelings I would have, the feelings Samantha would have, the team, all of us would be able to share together. It would be a special moment."

Until recently, the only expansion Keselowski spoke of was his new truck building in Statesville, N.C. But last week, Keselowski released the good news that his girlfriend Paige is expecting as well.

On Thursday, Keselowski said it wasn’t “really fair to talk about a life changing experience until it happens,” but added he’s “excited and prepared for it”.

I grew up in a family where I am the youngest of five. I have three older sisters and I have been an uncle many times over and experienced it from that point of view.

Brad Keselowski

“I feel really good about it but I can’t say it has really been life changing to date,” Keselowski said. “I expect it to be life changing once the baby is born. I grew up in a family where I am the youngest of five. I have three older sisters and I have been an uncle many times over and experienced it from that point of view.

“I am sure it will be different when it is your own child. I have a pretty good grasp for how it works and I think it is going to be good.”

New beginnings

Both racers are ferocious competitors. Their free time is spent running truck teams in addition to their demanding day jobs as Sprint Cup drivers.

Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick is familiar with that grind. While he’s nearly a decade older than Busch and Keselowski, he also fielded truck teams and then Xfinity Series cars for 10 seasons before closing shop before becoming a dad in July 2012.

Harvick has no doubt that fatherhood will change the drivers. After his son Keelan was born, the Harvicks simplified their lives. He and wife DeLana closed Kevin Harvick Inc. Harvick left Richard Childress Racing after 13 Cup seasons because it just wasn’t fun anymore. He joined forces with his friend Tony Stewart and to be closer to SHR, the couple moved to Charlotte.

Harvick believes the new additions “will do wonders” for the drivers.

Nobody wants to fail as parents, so I think they’re going to look at things from a different perspective not because they want to but because they have to.

Kevin Harvick

“It would be great for anybody,” Harvick said. “It just made my life more balanced because you really think of everything that you did whether it be showing up at a truck race or owning truck teams or whatever the case may be for us, it resulted in selling the truck teams, the Nationwide teams in order to make sure we had enough time to be good parents.

“Ultimately that resulted in everything being gone and really trying to simplify life to you could concentrate on Sundays and doing the right thing at home. Nobody wants to fail as parents, so I think they’re going to look at things from a different perspective not because they want to but because they have to.

“Then when you have to do things, then it's like, all right, I want to do this, because I want to do a good job at it. And you are responsible for caring about something from day one that completely relies on you and your significant other. So, that's a huge responsibility and it comes with a lot of things. So it will definitely restructure your life and for me, it was in a very good way.”

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Event Daytona Unlimited
Track Daytona International Speedway
Drivers Tony Stewart , Kevin Harvick , Brad Keselowski , Kyle Busch
Article type Analysis