Earning a spot in the title race at Homestead-Miami Speedway wasn’t Kevin Harvick’s only achievement on Sunday evening.
Harvick won for the fourth time this season, and the third time at Texas Motor Speedway. The victory was also the 49th of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career: a significant number for both Harvick and his team co-owner Tony Stewart, as the two are now tied on the all-time wins list.
“I’m excited about the fact that he’s going to far surpass this landmark,” said Stewart. “But I’m really proud that the night that he did tie it was so significant. This is a big win. It’s not just an early‑season win or a second win that doesn’t mean anything; this is the win that locks him into running for a championship at Homestead.
“It’s cool to be here and be a part of it with him, but I can promise you, he’s going to far surpass this and be long gone, and I’ll be left in the weeds on that stat long after. I would say there’s a really good shot in seven days that stat will be nonexistent again.”
Harvick began driving for Stewart and Gene Haas in 2014, and he won his first championship that same season. Of Harvick’s 49 career wins, 26 have come with SHR.
“We did all this, and the only conversations that we talked about were, we want to win races and have a chance to win championships,” said Harvick.
“I think that the faith that he and his group put in letting us talk them into going out and hiring him [Rodney Childers] and putting the faith in [Childers] and going out and hiring the guys that he wanted to hire when we built the team, we didn’t have a truck, we didn’t have a trailer, we didn’t have a race car, and they let us do everything how we wanted from the very beginning.
“It’s kind of reshaped and molded and changed things at SHR, and last year, I mean, gosh, I don’t even know how many races we won as a team last year, but we won a bunch of races as four drivers. And really, to me, that’s the most rewarding thing is seeing the company continue to thrive and win races in different rules packages, big motors, tapered spacers, big spoilers, little spoilers, Fords, Chevrolets. Stewart‑Haas Racing has been in victory lane, and we’ve been fortunate to win races with all those different scenarios. In the end, that comes down to people. You’re only as good as the people that you have around you.
“Them letting us go out and build a team with people that came to Stewart‑Haas Racing to be on that No. 4 car is really what started this whole thing, and now we’re, I don’t know, what are we, 26, 27 wins later, six years in. So, it’s been a lot of fun. He’s [Stewart] so laid back and understands how the peaks and valleys go of this particular sport. I’m glad he’s here on the night that we were able to both be 49s. I guess that’s pretty cool.”
Tied with Stewart for 14th on the all-time wins list, Harvick is one win behind Junior Johnson and Ned Jarrett.