The 2014 Cup Series champion's Stewart-Haas Racing Ford will switch from its regular #4 to use the #29 in a throwback paint scheme reminiscent of the design which adorned Harvick's Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet when he won his first Cup race in 2001.
His breakthrough victory at Atlanta over Jeff Gordon came in just Harvick’s third series start with RCR’s #3 team, which had been rebranded as #29 following driver Dale Earnhardt’s death in a last-lap wreck in the season-opening Daytona 500 two weeks earlier.
“When I sat in the No. 29 for the first time, it really wasn’t by choice, but I definitely wouldn’t have done it any differently,” said Harvick, who will call time on his Cup Series career at the end of this season.
“Dale’s passing changed our sport forever, and it changed my life forever and the direction it took.
“Looking back on it now, I realise the importance of getting in the Cup car, and then I wound up winning my first race at Atlanta in the #29 car after Dale’s death.
“The significance and the importance of keeping that car on the race track and winning that race early at Atlanta – knowing now what it meant to the sport, and just that moment in general of being able to carry on – was so important.”
The decision to utilise the #29 in the non-championship All-Star event is part of Harvick’s desire highlight many of special moments of his NASCAR career.
“I had a great 13 years at RCR and really learned a lot through the process because of being thrown into Dale’s car, where my first press conference as a Cup Series driver was the biggest press conference I would ever have in my career, where my first moments were my biggest moments,” he said.
Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet
Photo by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images
“With the All-Star Race going to North Wilkesboro – a place with a tonne of history – we thought it made sense in a year full of milestones and moments to highlight where it all started.”
Harvick has competed in every All-Star Race since joining the Cup Series in 2001, winning twice in 2007 and 2018.
This year’s All-Star Race returns to North Wilkesboro – a track that first appeared on the Cup Series schedule in 1949 but has not hosted NASCAR national series competition since 1996.
“I don’t know the last time the All-Star Race was the most anticipated event of the season,” Harvick said. “Fans are going to show up in droves.
“North Wilkesboro is a great short track, the asphalt’s worn out, and I think it’s going to be a fantastic event.”2023-03-16T23:08:10Z dg43tfdfdgfd