Kevin Harvick jumps to 9th on NASCAR’s all-time wins list

Kevin Harvick - Richmond - Nascar 2022

With his victory on Sunday at Richmond Raceway, only eight drivers stand ahead of Kevin Harvick on NASCAR’s all-time wins list.

“Yeah, I think, look, when you start mentioning the names that are on the top of that list, it’s pretty special to be a part of those names,” he said.

Especially considering the next driver on the win list ahead of him is the man he replaced at Richard Childress Racing: Dale Earnhardt. And Harvick doesn’t take it for granted.

“I think as you look back at it, I don’t think as you start your career, you don’t say, well, I want to — it’s easy to say, I guess, I want to win 70-some races and be close or win 60, and then you start doing this on a week-to-week basis, and I think that’s the hardest thing, especially I see it a lot in today’s world,” he said.

When you make it to the NASCAR Cup Series, you’re competing against the best of the best. Be it the best crew chiefs, pit crews, shop guys, etc.

Even at your best, remaining competitive isn’t easy. Case in point: Harvick ended a 65-race winless streak just the week prior at Michigan.

“I feel like we work as hard as anybody,” he said. “We’ve put in a lot of time to try to be good at it, and we have a good system that works with a group of people that loves to be around each other.”

The numbers speak to the chemistry, as nearly two-thirds of his 60 wins came with Stewart-Haas Racing.

“I get a lot of satisfaction in seeing success from a group, and I think that that is what keeps the dips higher, and you’re able to rebound and do the things that you do with good people,” he said. “When you have people that are good people and you like being around them, it makes it easier. But still hard.”

Moreover, almost half of Harvick’s 60 Cup Series victories came after he turned 40. Which is third-best among drivers to win after 40. As someone who once tweeted “Old guys rule,” he takes great pride in it. Especially when almost every driver he raced with early in his career have retired.

“For me, a lot of the guys that I grew up racing with are — Dale (Earnhardt Jr.) is up in the booth and Kyle (Petty) and Dale Jarrett are down here and you’ve got (Clint) Bowyer in the booth. Jeff (Gordon) is on pit road,” he said.

But it helps he gets to still see them most weeks.

“It’s those quiet high fives that are a lot of fun and kind of keep it in perspective for me because of the fact that you’re older and supposed to be done and kind of headed down a path that is toward the end,” he said.

What that final number winds up being, only time will tell. But as someone who’s watched his entire NASCAR Cup Series career, both as a child and now as an adult covering the sport, I’m proud and honored to have watched Harvick go from a young gun from Bakersfield, California, who replaced a legend to joining the same rung as “The Intimidator” in the stratosphere of NASCAR lore.

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