A farewell to a longtime Miller partner Kevin Harvick Inc.
November 30, 2011
Ten years ago, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick and wife DeLana decided to pursue their dream of owning a race team. They started small working from a friend's garage, and nearly a decade later their organization Kevin Harvick, Inc. ran three full-time teams in the Truck Series and two full-time teams in the Nationwide Series.
Though they just closed their 80,000 square foot facility in Kernersville, N.C. and merged with Richard Childress Racing, KHI’s success is represented by the 53 wins, two Truck Series championships and three Truck Series owner’s championships they have collected during their 10-year career.
“In the beginning, I think everyone was nervous about how the relationship would work with me owning my operation and driving for Richard (owner of Richard Childress Racing) on Sundays,” said Harvick. “But I think my experience with RCR has been a huge help – it’s helped me understand the politics and nature of NASCAR. It’s been a benefit to see how these things are run. Sure there are headaches, but it’s been a positive experience.”
Miller is proud to have been a partner of KHI since day one.
“Miller’s been a big part of KHI and has always been there for us,” said Harvick.
KHI General Manager Rick Carrelli agrees.
“Miller has been a huge part of what we do here at KHI and has contributed to our growth. They were one of our first sponsors,” said Carelli. “The products speak for themselves. When we built racecars, we would build the best and represent ourselves with the best people and products. They’re the best welders out there.”
KHI utilized approximately 50 welders and their team of fabricators relied on the Millermatic® 211 Auto-Set™ with MVP™MIG welder in the shop and a Millermatic® Passport® Plus at the track. The MIG welders were a shop favorite because of their versatility and ease-of-use.
“When you look at the number of people who touched these products daily, I couldn’t think of a product that was used more than our Miller welders,” said Harvick.
The welders were used when building and fabricating parts – lower and upper control arms, spindles, center links and more.
“Everyone at Miller is first-class. We like to associate with companies that take pride in what they do. Miller takes pride in their welders and the feedback from users of their equipment,” said Harvick.
Looking back, Harvick reflects on what he’s most enjoyed most at KHI.
“I like the thrill of competition, even though I wasn't always in the vehicle. As an owner there’s pride in seeing something you’ve built from the ground up get out there and win,” said Harvick.
Miller wishes Kevin Harvick and his staff the best in their future endeavors and looks forward to a continued partnership with Richard Childress Racing.
As KHI closes its doors on a successful 10-year run, we remember some of the highlights of their KHI legacy.
- 2001: Kevin Harvick competed and finished second in his first Truck Series event for KHI at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.
- 2002: KHI entered five Truck Series events. Harvick scored KHI’s first Truck Series victory at Phoenix International Raceway, becoming only the fifth driver in history to win a race in all three of NASCAR’s premier divisions.
- 2003: KHI fielded an entry in six Truck Series events with drivers Harvick, Ed Berrier, Brandon Miller and Randy LaJoie.
- 2004: Driver Matt Crafton joined KHI to compete in their first full-time Truck Series entry. Crafton finished the season sixth in series points, earning six top-five and 17 top-10 finishes. That same season, Tony Stewart drove the first KHI Nationwide Series entry at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway finishing fifth.
- 2005: Ron Hornaday joined KHI to compete full time in their Truck Series program. He recorded his first win for KHI at Atlanta Motor Speedway and finished the year fifth in the point standings. At seasons end the team yielded one win, five top-five and 13 top-10 finishes and finished 10th in the Owner’s Point standings.
- 2006: KHI entered two full-time Nationwide Series entries, the No. 33 and No. 77. Burney Lamar joined KHI to pilot the newly formed No. 77 Chevrolet team, while Tony Stewart returned to KHI and defended his season-opening win at Daytona. At year’s end the No. 33 team, piloted by a variety of drivers, recorded five top-five and 13 top-10 finishes placing them 10th in the overall point standings. The No. 77 team finished the season with one top-five and five top-10 finishes. On the Truck Series side, Hornaday returned as driver of the No. 33 Truck Series entry for KHI. He earned two wins, five top-five and 12 top-10 results to finish the year seventh in the point standings.
- 2007: Hornaday recorded four wins, 13 top-five and 22 top-10 finishes on his way to his third-career Truck Series title. Kevin and DeLana Harvick collected their first for KHI.
- 2008: In October, Ryan Newman climbed behind the wheel of the No. 2 Chevrolet Silverado and scored his first Truck Series win. At seasons end the No. 33 car recorded 10 top-five and 15 top-10 finishes to end the season seventh in the Owner’s Point standings.
- 2009: Hornaday made history recording his fourth Truck Series title, making the Harvicks two-time Truck Series championship owners. Hornaday also became the first driver in Truck Series history to win five consecutive races and joined NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty and NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison as one of only three drivers in NASCAR history to win five races in a row. In the Nationwide Series, Harvick went to victory lane for the first time in KHI owned equipment at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. To cap the 2009 season, Harvick was named the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver of the decade with two series titles (2006 and 2001) and was named the series’ Raybestos Rookie of the Year in 2000. During the decade, Harvick leads all NASCAR Nationwide drivers with 34 wins.
- 2010: In the Nationwide Series, Harvick piloted the No. 33 car for the majority of the season recording three victories at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Nashville Superspeedway and Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. The No. 33 team finished the year third in the Owner Point standings, an organization-best finish.
- 2011: For the first time in 10 years of competition, KHI competed for a Nationwide Series Driver’s championship with Elliott Sadler and the No. 2 team. Sadler finished the season second overall in the Driver's Points standing. KHI also entered three full-time Truck Series teams and earned their third Truck Series Owner's Championship courtesy of the No. 2 team.
For more information about the teams and organization that Miller partners with, visit the Racing, Customizing and Restoring page on MillerWelds.com.