Maybe it was always destined that Kevin Harvick would one day end up driving a Mustang.
As a kid growing up in Bakersfield, CA, he would often go for rides with his aunt, who sported a 1960’s version that set the standard for what a muscle car is supposed to be. Now, as driver of the No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing, he gets to experience it like few others can.
His first on-track victory with Mustang came in 2018 when he won the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but when Ford brought the world’s best-selling sports coupe to the Cup Series last year, he found it even more to his liking with four wins and a spot in the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
But that’s the only place you’ll see him driving a Mustang — at least for now.
With wife DeLana and children Keelan and Piper waiting for him at home, there are other more practical choices for the Harvick family. And, like most parents who go through the sometimes-maddening exercise of switching out car seats between multiple vehicles, the final destination is the determining factor.
“I have an F-150 pickup and a Lincoln Navigator,” said Harvick when talking about what vehicles he drives most frequently around the house. “It depends on the task at hand to be honest with you. If we’re going to the go-kart track, it’ll be the pickup truck. If we’re doing anything else on a daily basis, I’m gonna drive the Navigator.”
But whether it’s picking up Keelan at school or driving to the race shop, Harvick is no more immune to the construction delays and traffic tie-ups than the fans who cheer for him on Saturday nights or Sunday afternoons. As a result, he does the same thing many of them do by utilizing technology to his advantage.
“I think the thing I use the most is the GPS because with Charlotte having all the traffic, no matter where you’re coming from or going to, it’s nice being able to use that and all the hands-free pieces built into the vehicle,” said Harvick. “For me, I’m a do not disturb guy on my phone as I drive, so having all that stuff on the screen is pretty handy to stay in tune with life as you’re driving along and not get stuck in traffic.”
The fact Harvick would have an F-150 as one of his vehicles shouldn’t come as a surprise to those who remember him behind the wheel of the racing version in what was then the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 1999. Driving for Liberty Motorsports, owned by Jim Herrick and Brad Daugherty, Harvick started all 25 races in the No. 98 F-150 that season and posted three runner-up finishes while ending up 12th in the final point standings.
One of the trucks from that year has a special place in not only Harvick’s heart, but his personal collection of vintage race cars.
“That’s one of the cool pieces of my collection and was the last time I drove a Ford before we switched at SHR in 2017,” said Harvick of the truck nicknamed ‘Bully’. “It was a truck that Butch Miller and Kenny Irwin drove before I got there. We used it as a short track truck, and Butch actually won a race with it at Colorado National Speedway, so it has a lot of history.”
With his next Cup victory Harvick will become only the 14th driver to register 50 career wins in NASCAR’s top series and give him another Mustang moment as memorable as the one from his youth.
Not to mention some added company for Bully.
Campbell Marketing & Communications for Ford Performance