Kevin Harvick could only think of one paint scheme he wanted to run in his final NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race -- the No. 29 paint car that he wheeled to his first NASCAR Cup Series victory back in 2001.
There was only one problem; he drives the No. 4 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing. Never fear because where there's a will, there's a way.
After Harvick brought his idea to Stewart-Haas Racing, Harvick approached the idea with Richard Childress, and after getting the blessing of his former car owner, Harvick will now run the No. 29 Ford Mustang one last time in the NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway.
Harvick made the official announcement on FS1's NASCAR RaceHub on Thursday:
In addition to the throwback number and paint scheme, Harvick's primary sponsor -- Busch Light -- will utilize its logo from back in 2001 on the car for the event as well.
In a press release from Stewart-Haas Racing, Harvick explains that while he was unexpectedly thrust into the No. 29 car, following the death of Dale Earnhardt, his time with Richard Childress Racing taught him so much about racing.
Harvick could think of no better way to pay tribute to the opportunity that led to him eventually being a NASCAR Cup Series champion at Stewart-Haas Racing.
“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.
“Looking back on it now, I realize 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 racetrack 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.
“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.
“With this being my last year as a Cup Series driver, we wanted to highlight a lot of these moments, and many were made at RCR in that 29 car. So, 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.”
Harvick has two career victories in the NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race, which came in 2007 and 2018. The 47-year-old will look to score his third victory in the All-Star Race as NASCAR makes its return to North Wilkesboro Speedway for the first time since the 1996 season.
The California native is currently leading the NASCAR Cup Series point standings after a fifth-place effort at Phoenix Raceway, which saw him in position to score the win until a late-race caution changed the outcome of the race.
Harvick is a 60-time winner in the NASCAR Cup Series.
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