Rockingham: Kevin Harvick preview

Harvick's Haunt Transforms into Harvick's Mile Marker In February of 2000, Kevin Harvick, a young NASCAR Busch Series Rookie from Bakersfield, Calif. attempted to qualify for the first Busch Series event at North Carolina (Rockingham, N.C.) ...

Harvick's Haunt Transforms into Harvick's Mile Marker

In February of 2000, Kevin Harvick, a young NASCAR Busch Series Rookie from Bakersfield, Calif. attempted to qualify for the first Busch Series event at North Carolina (Rockingham, N.C.) Speedway. He failed. When he returned a full year later, he had not only come there as the 2000 Busch Series Rookie of the Year and the contender for the series' 2001 title, but also to make his first appearance on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit. Harvick qualified for the race. And, when the NASCAR Series toured Rockingham in the fall of 2001, Harvick cemented his status as the 2001 NASCAR Busch Series Champion.

Many people have stories of the same nature, one place that earmarks their journeys through out their careers and personal lives. A place that everything comes back to. For Harvick, that place is Rockingham.

Kevin Harvick, the Driver of the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet Monte Carlo, makes peace with the North Carolina Speedway:

"It's kinda unique how Rockingham has been the mile marker for my career at Richard Childress Racing (RCR). It seems especially unique now that two seasons in NASCAR have passed and it all comes back to this place.

"When I was running my first season in the Busch Series, we didn't have any provisionals or anything, being that we were a new team. I missed the first race there. A year later I made my first Winston Cup start there. And then in the latter half of 2001, I clinched the Busch Championship. So no matter what else may happen at any other given track, Rockingham will always be special to me. It's like it chose me, I didn't choose it.

"It's places like Daytona (Fla.) (International Speedway) and Charlotte (N.C.) (Lowe's Motor Speedway) that most people have as their career mile markers, but for me it's Rockingham. The strange thing is I don't have the love for it the way guys usually do for the track that acts as their career mile marker. Nothing a few wins won't solve. Kidding. Rockingham has grown on me, how could it not?

"To win the Busch Championship was our primary goal last year while running both the NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Series. We thought we could finish top 10 in the Winston Cup points and get the Rookie of the Year honors last year. But, to win the Championship was always our primary focus. To do it at Rockingham- the place where I missed the only race- Busch or Cup- I've missed since being with RCR, was kind of closure, in a way. It's like I had defeated the track or something. Every time I used to think of Rockingham, I'd get tense. Now, instead of having some sort of lingering memory that might not be one for the better, I remember doing my burnouts and accepting the (Busch Series) Championship trophy and all of that good stuff. I knew that's how I'd remember it from the moment I clinched." <pre> Kevin Harvick NASCAR Winston Cup North Carolina Speedway Statistics

Date            Start   Finish  Laps Completed  Status
2/25/01         36      14      392 (393)       Running
11/04/01        23      27      390 (393)       Running

NASCAR Busch Series North Carolina Speedway Statistics

Date            Start   Finish  Laps Completed  Status
02/16/00        DNQ
10/21/00        22      10      197 (197)       Running
02/24/01        22      2       197 (197)       Running
11/03/01        3       5       197 (197)       Running

-kh/ls-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kevin Harvick
Teams Richard Childress Racing