KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Kevin Harvick isn’t waiting until Darlington to throw it back for a dose of some NASCAR nostalgia.
Harvick announced on Thursday that he will not be in his traditional No. 4 for the May 21 NASCAR All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway, but is bringing back the No. 29.
His Ford Mustang from Stewart-Haas Racing will sport a throwback paint scheme to the design Harvick used when he won in just his third career NASCAR Cup Series start on March 11, 2001 at Atlanta Motor Speedway when he drove for Richard Childress Racing.
Harvick’s first win at Atlanta was more than special because he was driving the racecar that less than a month earlier had been piloted by legend Dale Earnhardt, who died on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500.
“When I sat in the 29 for the first time, it really wasn’t by choice, but I definitely wouldn’t have done it any differently,” Harvick said. “Dale’s passing changed our sport forever, and it changed my life forever and the direction it took.
Harvick said with this being his last year as a Cup Series driver, he wanted to highlight a lot of the moments made at RCR in the No. 29 car.
“With the All-Star Race going to North Wilkesboro – a place with a ton of history – we thought it made sense in a year full of milestones and moments to highlight where it all started,” he said.
Harvick has competed in every All-Star Race since joining the Cup Series in 2001.
This year’s All-Star Race returns to North Wilkesboro – a track that first appeared on the Cup Series schedule in 1949 but has been largely dormant since Cup Series cars last thundered around the .625-mile oval on Sept. 29, 1996 when Jeff Gordon took the victory over Dale Earnhardt. It was the track’s 93rd Cup Series race.
“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.”