Kevin and DeLana Harvick add truck title to growing list of accomplishments
Ron Hornaday Jr. driving for Kevin and DeLana Harvick is a match made in race-truck heaven, writes Mark Ashenfelter.
- Wife DeLana, the daughter of a racer, supported his dream and Kevin Harvick Inc. was born in 2001. KHI has since won races in both the Craftsman Truck and Busch Series and now there's a championship trophy in Kernersville, N.C., as well.Ron Hornaday Jr. saw to that in November when he captured the truck title at Homestead-Miami Speedway. That it was Hornaday who won the title brought the type of story that seemingly happens only in racing full circle. When Harvick first moved to North Carolina from his native California, he slept on a couch in Hornaday's home.Harvick never forgot that generosity and hired Hornaday to drive his Chevrolet Silverados in 2005. Now Harvick, who has won two Busch championships as a driver, has an owner's title to share with his wife.DeLana had celebrated the championships Kevin won on the track, but this one belongs to her every bit as much."There's nothing that can quite describe the feeling that you have when it's your own and your own team because we're there every day with these guys and we see how hard they work," DeLana said. "Coming into [the finale at Homestead], I told Kevin, it's got to be over for me. I can't go up and down anymore. My emotions were completely shot. I don't know how these guys do what they do every weekend because for me being a competitor is emotionally draining. To watch this race unfold was probably one of the hardest things I've ever had to do in my life. "The 33 team, they've been so resilient and they're so determined, and Ron Hornaday, what can you say about him? To watch him battle like he has, and to battle Mike Skinner, they mean so much to the truck series. That's what's so cool for Kevin and I is Ron has done so much for Kevin, and to be able to give back to him, that's just not a feeling that you can describe." Hornaday was in need of a ride for '05, and Harvick felt his team needed another driver to take the next step forward. To say it's been a mutually beneficial pairing would be understating the point."For me it's obviously a little bit more personal than it probably has been for a lot of other people, but to share that moment with him on the backstretch [Harvick was also in the Ford 200] and be the first one to congratulate him, that's something I'll never forget," Harvick said.The Harvicks may have done a lot for Hornaday, but Kevin Harvick knows none of it would have been possible if Hornaday hadn't helped him get started in the first place.The initial feeling left Harvick looking for the words to explain it all."It's pride, it's satisfaction, it's the most rewarding thing that you can do as a person. To be able to give something back to somebody is -- I mean, you can't put a price on it. You really can't."Harvick credits Hornaday with helping him make the move from the truck series to Busch. And it wasn't just any ride in the Busch Series, either -- it was with Richard Childress Racing. "When somebody goes out of their way to help you, and Hornaday was the one who basically kind of brokered the deal back and forth between myself and Childress because I had a contract and he was the one who made it all happen. I grew up on the West Coast racing with Hornaday, and he just -- I really don't know how to put it into words, other than all of the above, other than it's rewarding, it's satisfying, and when you can give back to somebody and be successful it's probably the most rewarding thing that you can ever be a part of."[+] EnlargeAP Photo/Larry PapkeKevin and DeLana Harvick also celebrated this Busch Series win at Texas Motor Speedway in November.
I got offered more money to go other places, but when Kevin asked me to do it, we never talked about price. I just said, 'Yes, I'll do it.'
-- Ron Hornaday Jr.
ESPN TOP HEADLINES
- Spurs breeze past Heat with Duncan in form
- LeBron says sleeved jersey partly to blame
- Manziel inks endorsement contract with Nike
- Ex-girlfriend: Pistorius had gun 'all the time'
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
ESPN.com: Help | Press | Advertise on ESPN.com | Sales Media Kit | Interest-Based Ads | Corrections | Contact Us | Site Map | Jobs at ESPN | Go.com