Keelan Harvick. (Blake Harris/H3 Photography photo)

Son Of NASCAR Champion Taking Next Step In Racing Career

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. — Keelan Harvick is hoping to forge his own name in the racing scene, and he will take the next step in his journey on Friday and Saturday at New River All American Speedway.

Harvick, 11, is the son of 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion and 60-time series race winner Kevin Harvick.

Already, the young driver has won races at multiple short tracks across the Southeast in a Legend Car, but now he is set to race in a full-size stock car for the first time when he competes in the street stock portion of Friday night’s Ronnie Hetu Memorial — part of a doubleheader weekend for him and the North Carolina track.

“I am really excited,” Harvick said. “The street stock is a lot of fun to drive.”

On top of the street stock race on Friday, Harvick will also compete in the Legend Car feature in Saturday’s National Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram 250, which is headlined by the zMAX CARS Tour. 

The goal on Friday night is to learn, but the goal on Saturday is to win.

“My expectations in the Legend are to run good and compete for the win,” Harvick stated. “In the street stock, I want to learn as much as I can and finish all the laps since this is my first race in a full-size car.”

This weekend will be the first time Harvick has raced at the four-tenths-mile track in Onslow County, N.C. The track poses a challenge to racers because of its abrasive surface which increases tire degradation. To learn how to run a new track, Harvick has relied on friends and teammates who have raced in Jacksonville, while also leaning on his father for advice.

“To prepare going to a new track, I watch video and ask my teammates questions, especially if they have been to the track before,” Harvick explained. “I ask my dad a lot of questions and he gives me feedback. He always has good advice no matter what I’m driving.”

While many second or third-generation drivers feel pressure to live up to their parents’ legacy, Harvick is taking everything in stride to make his own name for himself.

“I don’t really feel any pressure,” Harvick commented. “I work hard to build my own name and I want to do the best that I can.”