By taking the green flag in Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 Cup Series race at Richmond Raceway, Kevin Harvick will tie an all-time NASCAR record.
All Kevin Harvick needs to do to further etch his name into NASCAR history books is take the green flag in this afternoon’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway.
The 45-year-old Bakersfield, California native, who hasn’t missed a Cup Series race since he was suspended for the April race at Martinsville Speedway back in the 2002 season, is set to make his 727th career start over the course of 21 years at NASCAR’s top level in this afternoon’s race.
This 400-lap race around the four-turn, 0.75-mile (1.207-kilometer) oval in Richmond, Virginia will also mark his 1,197 career NASCAR start. Harvick has competed in 346 Xfinity Series races over the course of 20 seasons and 124 Truck Series races over the course of 19 seasons, including his first in six years last month at Bristol Motor Speedway.
When he takes the green flag on Sunday, he will tie Joe Nemechek as NASCAR’s most experienced driver of all-time.
Nemechek himself just broke this record in 2019. The record had been 1,185 when it was held by Richard Petty (all Cup Series starts), but Nemechek broke it in the final weekend of the season, competing in the Truck Series, Xfinity Series and Cup Series season finales at Homestead-Miami Speedway to bring his total to 1,188.
He competed in eight Xfinity Series races and one Truck Series last year to bring his career NASCAR start total to 1,197. He attempted to qualify for this year’s Truck Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway but failed to do so, and he has not competed in a race since.
His record consists of 674 Cup Series starts, 453 Xfinity Series starts and 70 Truck Series starts, and it will soon be tied with Harvick’s mark, with Harvick likely to pass it in next Sunday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway unless Nemechek competes in the Xfinity Series race the day before.
Tune in to Fox at 3:00 p.m. ET this afternoon for the live broadcast of the Toyota Owners 400 from Richmond Raceway and witness history as Kevin Harvick makes his 1,197th career NASCAR start.