I was surprised, and perhaps a little disappointed, when Kevin and DeLana Harvick announced they were shutting down their race team, Kevin Harvick Inc., at the end of 2011. The rumors were circulating as to why the couple would make such a sudden decision. Some speculated that the couple were planning to start a family, and they were absolutely right. Yesterday, Kevin Harvick announced that his wife was 14 week pregnant, and their baby is due in July.
“There were a lot of factors that went into the KHI decision, but when your wife tells you she’s not starting a family unless you get out of the race team business, that’s a pretty big factor in things that are going on,” Harvick said. “You go through different phases of your life,” Harvick continued. “You sit down and do your estate planning and it’s just you and her. There’s nobody to carry on the things that we sat there and built. And how important are a bunch of race cars, 15 years down the road? Not really. It put a lot of things into perspective for us. We did a good job at running the race teams, we were competitive. And I think as you move down the road and I’m done driving, I think you can always fire that back up again.”
Part of Kevin’s decision to close KHI was to refocus on his career and driving the 29 Budweiser Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing. With the stress of KHI out of thier lives, Kevin and DeLana can focus on being parents as well. Congratulations to them both!
For all the latest updates, you can follow Kevin and DeLana on Twitter. Or follow Kevin on Facebook.
UPDATE: DeLana is keeping a “Baby Blog.” You can follow the blog here.
Kevin Harvick announced this week that the Nationwide Series cars fielded by KHI this year will become part of Richard Childress Racing next season. That left many fans wondering if KHI would continue in Camping World Truck Series. In an interview today, Harvick confirmed the truck teams will also cease to exist after this season. The news has shocked the racing community since KHI has won 39 races and 2 championships in the last nine years. In the interview Harvick said, “I had to tell all 140 of my employees what was going on. I told them on Wednesday. They will have a chance to get a job at RCR with the merger, but we dont know how many.” He admits that the hardest part of telling driver of the #33 truck and long-time friend, Ron Hornaday that he would have to find another ride for the 2012 season.
Kevin and DeLana Harvick founded KHI in 2001 and began in the Truck Series. Slowly, they built up their team and expanded into the Nationwide Series. KHI has had success in both series, but especially in the Truck series with Hornaday. A four time Truck series Champion, Hornaday won two of those championships with KHI in 2007 and 2009. For the 2011 season, KHI fields the #2 Chevrolet driven by a variety of drivers, #8 Chevrolet driven by Nelson Piquet Jr., and the #33 Chevrolet driven by Hornaday. In the Nationwide Series, the #2 Chevrolet driven by Elliot Sadler and the #33 Chevrolet driven by a variety of drivers. Bot the #2 and #33 Nationwide cars will move to RCR for the 2012 season.
I have been to KHI two times in the past year and Kevin and DeLana put together a great program. It is sad to see them go, but as Harvick stated, “It’s a tough model, business-wise. We’ve scrimped and scraped and got the sponsorship and things that you need, and GM has been a great supporter of everything that we’ve done. But from a business standpoint, sometimes you just have to make the decisions as to what you want to do, and for us it just didn’t make sense.” Kevin wants to focus more on his Sprint Cup Series career.