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April 23, 2023

Kevin Harvick makes 800th Cup Series start Sunday at Talladega


Kevin Harvick greets the fans
Sean Gardner
Getty Images

Sunday marked a milestone 800th NASCAR Cup Series start for Kevin Harvick. The 47-year-old veteran accomplished the feat after taking the green flag during the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 23 (3 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Harvick became the 10th driver to reach 800 starts, joining Richard Petty, Ricky Rudd, Dave Marcis, Terry Labonte, Mark Martin, Kyle Petty, Bill Elliott, Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Gordon. The 2014 Cup Series champion also became the fifth-youngest driver to achieve 800 starts.

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“I think I’ve taken pretty good care of myself throughout the years to make myself durable through all the travel and time and things you put into doing this,” Harvick said in a team press release. “Being able to adapt and adjust to new things and new people, and being honest with people in situations, and sticking up for yourself when you think something’s right, and having those traits and the ability to have people who will accept those things because they know that you put a lot of thought and effort into what you’re doing.”

“The King” is the only driver to win his 800th start. Petty achieved the feat in 1979 at Dover Motor Speedway.

In 44 starts prior to Sunday at Talladega’s 2.66-mile superspeedway, Harvick owns one win (spring 2010) and 19 top 10s.

When Harvick completes his 23rd and final season in November at Phoenix Raceway, he will get to 826 starts, which will put him eighth on the all-time list surpassing Gordon and Waltrip.

“Well, I didn’t even know if I’d get to one,” Harvick said. “When you think about 800 races and you try to put it into perspective, you really start adding the years up. It’s a really wide body of work, and I think that’s what I’m the most proud of. Through those 800 starts, it’s not like we started the year cashing checks and just riding around. We’ve been competitive, racing at the front of the pack, leading laps and having the chance to win races. For me, that’s the thing that I’m most proud of, and I think from your colleagues and people from other race teams, they see that body of work and being competitive across that long period of time.

“You hear it all the time, ‘I can’t believe they’ve been that competitive for that long.’ And to me, that’s the part I’m most proud of, being able to do this at a high level for such a long time.”

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