NASCAR's Little Prince
This past weekend was Mother's Day and I enjoyed the many stories of driver's and their Mom's while at Kansas. What these women go through every time their child steps into a race car is I am sure very angst ridden and the anxiety level must be horrendous until they safely pass the checkered flag. Not to mention the sacrifices they made in order to help their son or daughter be the driver they are today. For that I thank them. NASCAR is a family sport and there are many families that are easily household names, such as the Pettys, Earnhardts, Frances and now Elliotts. The one family that I want to focus on is the family that I consider the new royalty of NASCAR. You may be surprised it is not The Johnsons or The Gordons. It is The Harvick family. With NASCAR starting a campaign based on Father's for Father's Day I can't think of better story to tell than that of Keelan Harvick.
Kevin and Delana Harvick welcomed their first born child, son Keelan Paul Harvick Sunday, July 8th, 2012.
You may be thinking why is this newsworthy? It is simple. No other NASCAR driver and their wife has ever shared the life of their child more than the Harvicks.Kevin and Delana were introduced to most NASCAR fans under the worst of circumstances. He was hand picked by Richard Childress after the death of Dale Earnhardt. He was not given the No.3 car and he was grateful for that. He made it very clear to the fans that he is not and never would be a replacement for the best driver in NASCAR history. Many were skeptical of Harvick until he won his first race three weeks after Earnhardt's death at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Kevin's career has flourished and since then he has been known to be rather “gritty” on and off the track. He has no qualms in telling a reporter exactly how he feels. His wife Delana stems from a racing family (actually was a driver herself for awhile) and for years she would dress as part of the crew on race day. That is one of the many reason's I love Delana Harvick. She is hands on and knows her stuff and does not care what you, Joey Logano, or I think.
Their love for each other has always been apparent. They were a featured couple on a NASCAR reality show years back and they came off as quite humorous although Delana is and forever will be the brains of the family. Kevin's driving style is rather aggressive and his mouth has landed him in the “Love him or Hate Him” category for NASCAR fans. This writer has loved him from day one. I cant imagine the task and pressure he had mounted on him while climbing into that No. 29 Chevrolet one week after the death of a legend. Fast forward to Keelan.
Kevin and Delana have done what some may call “the unthinkable”. “GASP” they have allowed us into their home and into the life of their son. We have been blessed to watch Keelan's first bottle, first words, first race, and first steps.
If you follow Delana or Kevin on Twitter or Facebook you are treated to many “Keelan Vines” or video's for those of us who don’t have a “Vine” account. It is because of these videos that we are able to see a softer side of Kevin Harvick along with his sense of humor. He is in love and it is beautiful to watch. A love for a child from one's father is rarely seen so openly. We have seen glimpses and if you want to see the video NASCAR has put together for their campaign you may see it here.
Keelan and Kevin make their appearance and what is shown in this video has become a race day ritual for Harvick. He will put Keelan in the driver's seat of his race car or truck and give him a kiss. This may seem too sugary for you however, for Harvick fans we are extremely happy that you are now seeing a part of Kevin what many of us have loved for years. His heart. He has always shown love and admiration for Delana. He has stood up for her and with her for years. Many articles have been written in regards to how Keelan has changed Kevin. They are right to a degree. Harvick is more playful in front of the camera and he lights up like a Christmas tree when he is with his son. Whether a fan or not one can't help but fall in love with this little guy. Keelan brings out the best in his Daddy and for that Kevin is seeing a rise in his popularity. In saying that, DO NOT misquote me by saying the Harvicks are using their child for such purposes. That is ridiculous and downright mean. We live in a social media driven world. You can either hide from it or embrace it. The Harvicks are new parents and they are doing what many of us did with our first child. Show them off to the world.
Keelan is now a typical toddler. He likes to jump, play and make funny sounds. He loves to play with his Daddy, his pets and has his own version of his Dad's race car to drive. Keelan is also a Romeo. Yes, I said it a Romeo. He has made it quite clear who the love of his life is and No, it is not his Mommy. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., you best watch your back. Just like all the other drivers do when Kevin is behind them on any given track. You have competition Ricky and your girl does not seem to mind. Keelan has devoted his love for his Father's teammate, the beautiful and talented Danica Patrick. Many times we have seen pictures and videos of said Romeo bestowing his love for the fair Princess Patrick.
I am sure there are many naysayers who think that The Harvicks are doing a disservice to Keelan by putting him “out there” as they say. I say the opposite. For as long as The Harvicks decide to be in the world of NASCAR Keelan will always be familiar with reporters, cameras and fans. Life lessons at an early age. There is nothing wrong with that and it happens all the time amongst other famous couples. London may have Prince Harry, Prince William and now Prince George but NASCAR has the coolest and brightest of royalty...Prince Keelan.