Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) announced today Kevin Harvick will enter the CARS Tour Late Model Stock race at North Wilkesboro Speedway on Wednesday, May 17, driving the No. 62 Hunt Brothers® Pizza Ford. Harvick will honor his racing roots with a scheme reminiscent of one his early late model cars in California and run a number with a legacy built by his late father-in-law, John Paul Linville.
As Harvick competes in his final season in the NASCAR Cup Series, a common theme has become clear. Never forget where you started, remember the journey and those who helped you along the way.
For Harvick, those beginnings started in California running late models and winning a NASCAR West Series championship before he began his climb up the NASCAR ladder to becoming a NASCAR Cup Series champion.
Earlier this year, Harvick, along with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jeff Burton and Justin Marks, announced they had bought the CARS Tour, a late model series competing in the Southeast region. During the announcement, Harvick made it clear he planned to compete in the series, get to know the competitors, and return to where he started his career, racing a late model.
“I’m excited to get to North Wilkesboro and compete in the CARS Tour,” said Harvick. “I’ve watched Dale (Earnhardt, Jr.) go out and have fun racing with these guys and I’ve been kind of jealous watching from the sidelines. I want to go out, have fun, get to know the racers who compete in these series regularly and see how I can help the drivers with my racing knowledge. Short-track racing really is the root that feeds into the higher series and everything we do in racing. The best way to make sure that continues and is strong is to be a part of it and racing at North Wilkesboro is just one of those steps. It’s going to be a great week with all we have planned between the late model and the Cup car.”
Continuing a legacy built by his late father-in-law, Harvick will pilot the No. 62 for the CARS Tour race, but it’s a number that is also being used by Kevin and DeLana’s son Keelan as he competes in the No. 62 throughout the United States, previously in go karts and now in Legend Cars. Linville’s racing career spanned more than 30 years. He started on the local short tracks of North Carolina and competed in multiple series, including what is today’s Xfinity Series.
“I grew up watching my dad compete for our family-owned team and traveling to the racetrack every week with him,” said DeLana Harvick. “When it was time for Keelan to pick a number, he wanted the No. 62 to remember his Paw Paw John and to set himself apart from Kevin. He really wants to be known as his own racer. To see my dad’s number running again with Keelan and now with Kevin, is really special to our family.”
With his entrance into the CARS Tour race, Harvick will once again be behind the wheel of a Kevin Harvick Inc. machine, bringing the championship winning organization back to the track after a 12-year hiatus. Kevin Harvick Inc. competed in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Truck Series and ARCA Series from 2001 – 2011. The team garnered 10 Xfinity Series wins, 45 Truck Series wins and two Truck Series driver championships with NASCAR Hall of Famer Ron Hornaday Jr.
“With where we are on the management side, the ownership in the CARS Tour and with Keelan’s racing, it felt like the right time to bring KHI back,” said Harvick. “For now it’ll be a place for us to run races to gain experience for our KHI Management, LLC (KHIM) drivers, compete in the CARS Tour to better understand how we can help make changes for the better and ultimately, have some fun racing.”
Racing at North Wilkesboro Speedway kicks off on Tuesday, May 16, 2023, with the ASA STARS National Series followed by the CARS Tour on Wednesday, May 17, All-Star Friday on May 19, the Truck Series race on Saturday, May 20, and NASCAR All-Star Race on Sunday, May 21, 2023. For more information and to buy tickets for the weekend’s activities, visit northwilkesborospeedway.com. Fans unable to attend the race can visit FLoRacing.com to purchase a subscription to watch the race live from North Wilkesboro and the full season of the CARS Tour.