Sports Xtra: Kevin Harvick feels right at home at IMS

Posted at 10:30 PM, Jul 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-01 22:30:02-04

INDIANAPOLIS — It's back to the bricks this weekend for Kevin Harvick. The two-time Indy champ, eyeing a third.

And, honestly, he wouldn't mind a shot at four someday following in the footsteps of that other four-time winner from Bakersfield, Calif.

When people heard Bakersfield and racing they would think of Rick Mears. When kids think of Bakersfield and racing now, do they think of Kevin Harvick?

"Well, you hope so," Harvick said. "You know, I've been going through a lot of stuff these past few months and I've found a lot of those childhood items that I've had and I'll send pictures of them to Rick. So, I'm probably annoying him at this point showing him all of the old autographs."

This weekend the two worlds come together as the speedway hosts the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader, all under the watchful eye of track owner Roger Penske.

Is it a sign of things to come?

"Well, I hope so. It's a huge step for racing," Harvick said. "I hope it's a sign of things to come because I think it's going to be a great event."

Unfortunately, it will happen without fans in the stands — a scenario NASCAR has successfully pulled off since mid-May. Plenty to adjust to. Staying safe but staying competitive.

Heck, even when it comes to post-race celebrations, after Harvick dominated NASCAR's return with a win at Darlington.

"You know, I got out and did donuts. Got out and stood on the car and then I realized, 'Man, I feel like a complete idiot standing here celebrating with myself,'" Harvick said. "I don't know there's a more arrogant situation you could have than celebrating with yourself, by yourself on the front straightaway in a car here so that was the end of that."

Even the photos in victory lane are a little different. It's the hope that one day soon celebrations like normal can happen again. For team owner Tony Stewart. And especially for the Harvick family.

"That was the first time that I'd been able to have my family with me in victory lane all together at one time," Harvick said. "The photos are way more important than the trophy, I'll be honest with you. To have that photo of Piper, Keelan, and Delana and myself standing there with that trophy, looking back at the race track and the front straightaway is something that is priceless for me."

The photos are adding up. And for guys from Bakersfield, that means the wins are, too.