NASCAR: Kevin Harvick set for long-awaited return

Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

Kevin Harvick is set to return to the NASCAR Truck Series for the first time in several years at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend.

Kevin Harvick is just a few starts away from breaking Joe Nemechek’s all-time NASCAR starts record across the three national series, and the Truck Series has played a big role in that climb despite the fact that he has competed in nearly six times as many Cup Series races and nearly three times as many Xfinity Series races as he has Truck Series races.

The 45-year-old Bakersfield, California native made his Truck Series debut in 1995, and he has made a total of 123 starts in the series over the course of 18 different seasons. He has racked up 14 wins, 48 top five finishes and 62 top 10 finishes.

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But he hasn’t competed in a single race since August 2015.

Harvick’s most recent Truck Series start came at Pocono Raceway, when he finished in second place driving the #00 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports.

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But that is set to change this weekend — whenever the conditions allow for the Truck Series race, the Pinty’s Dirt Race, to occur.

The Cup Series is set for its first dirt race since September 1970 this Sunday, as Bristol Motor Speedway has been covered in dirt. Several drivers took extra steps to prepare for that 250-lap Food City Dirt Race event around the four-turn, 0.533-mile (0.858-kilometer) high-banked oval in Bristol, Tennessee. Among them are a number of drivers who planned to compete in the 150-lap Truck Series race first.

Harvick is one of those drivers, although this race will no longer be “preparation” as a result of a schedule change due to inclement whether; the Cup Series race is scheduled to take place this afternoon, while the Truck Series race is scheduled to take place this evening after having been scheduled for yesterday night.

In the Truck Series race, Harvick is set to drive the #17 Ford for David Gilliland Racing. As a result of the cancellation of the heat races due to inclement weather, NASCAR’s starting lineup formula has set the starting lineup for the race, and Harvick is set to start in 30th place. He is set to start the Cup Series race in sixth.

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This race is now scheduled to take place this evening at 9:00 p.m. ET, and Fox Sports 2 is set to broadcast it live from Bristol Motor Speedway. The Cup Series race is currently scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. ET and be broadcast live on Fox.