It’s Kevin Harvick’s story and he’s sticking to it. The NASCAR driver took some heat for a prank once pulled on driver Tony Stewart before a race. Harvick said everyone believed he was the motorsports culprit, but he insists he had nothing to do with it.
Kevin Harvick had a bittersweet 2020 season
Kevin Harvick led the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series with nine victories but was unable to compete for a championship. Harvick struggled in a late-season race at Martinsville that ultimately eliminated him from title contention. NASCAR’s postseason doesn’t put a whole lot of stock into the regular season.
“These championships aren’t like winning like Petty and Earnhardt used to win them,” Harvick told NBC after the race. “You have to put them together three weeks at a time.”
According to The Sporting News, Harvick’s exit drew a ton of reaction from drivers past and present. “Wow! I knew Martinsville Speedway would bring drama as a cutoff to the championship but never anticipated what I just witnessed,” Jeff Gordon said. Denny Hamlin said Harvick should’ve been in the running and compared it to baseball. “I think they deserve to be in. They’ve got nine wins. There’s not a person on the planet who would say they’re not a top-four team. They wanted a Game 7 moment. My only issue is you can’t ignore the first eight innings.”
Harvick boasts an impressive resume
Kevin Harvick began his NASCAR career in 1992 and has been going strong ever since. He earned his first NASCAR Cup Series victory in 2001 when he claimed the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 500 in Atlanta. Harvick was the 2000 NASCAR Busch Series Rookie of the Year and the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Rookie of the Year.
Harvick won the Daytona 500 in 2007. He has 119 combined national series wins, which put him third all-time behind Richard Petty and Kyle Busch. Harvick is the second-longest tenured active driver in the Cup series as far as starts go. He trails Kurt Busch.
In 718 NASCAR Cup Series races, Harvick has 58 victories. He’s finished in the top 10 389 times. Harvick is one of five drivers to have won a championship in both the Cup Series and the Xfinity Series.
Harvick once got blamed for a prank on Tony Stewart
Veteran driver Tony Stewart, now semi-retired and now a NASCAR team owner, once had a prank pulled on him and Kevin Harvick was the one blamed for it. In an interview with Graham Bensinger, Harvick insisted he had nothing to do with it. Stewart was known for always being late and someone messed with his clocks before a race and all fingers pointed to Harvick.
“You know, I have been blamed for this for several years but I actually didn’t even set the clocks forward,” Harvick said. “I don’t even know who did. It was not me. I’m telling you this right now, but it’s the only time I’ve seen Tony Stewart an hour early to anything.
“He made me very aware of that situation by walking into my bus and just walking straight into the bathroom. I look out of the shower and here’s Tony Stewart standing in his driver’s uniform and he’s made because he’s up an hour early. I can’t take all the credit for that one, but I got all the blame.”