The defending race winner at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Harvick is no stranger to Victory Lane at the 1.54-mile quad-oval. Since earning his first career Cup Series triumph here in the spring of 2001 when he prevailed in just his third start in NASCAR’s top series, Harvick has added two more victories to his Atlanta portfolio—both of them coming in the past three years.
Atlanta will always have a special place in his heart, of course, since it was here 20 years ago that he helped provide some healing to the grieving NASCAR world just three weeks after the tragic death of Dale Earnhardt. Harvick, who was driving Earnhardt’s old car that had been rebranded with the No. 29, nipped Jeff Gordon in a photo finish that has been replayed countless times over the past two decades.
“It was obviously a moment I don’t think any of us expected,” Harvick recently said. Harvick, who led the Cup Series with nine victories last season, has finished no better than fourth this season but has finished outside the top six just once.