Martha Earnhardt, mother of seven-time NASCAR premier series champion and Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt, is a Kevin Harvick fan, her grandson Dale Jr. revealed Tuesday on Twitter.
Harvick treated Mammaw Earnhardt and the rest of his fanbase to a fourth Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win of the season on Sunday when he took the checkered flag in the AAA Drive for Autism 400 at Dover International Speedway. With the win, he became the winningest driver, so far, 11 races into the season, breaking a tie with three-race winner Kyle Busch.
When Dale Sr. passed away as a result of injuries sustained in a last-lap crash in the 2001 Daytona 500, Harvick was selected as the driver to climb into a renumbered Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing. Harvick drove the car through the 2013 season before making a move to Stewart-Haas Racing where he now pilots the No. 4 Ford. He won his first NASCAR premier-series championship in his inaugural season with SHR.
After the death of her son, Martha Earnhardt had her grandson to root for. Earnhardt Jr., though, retired at the end of the 2017 season. By that time, great-grandson Jeffrey Earnhardt had reached the NASCAR premier-series ranks. However, he lost his ride behind the wheel of the No. 33 prior to the start of the 2018 season when Circle Sport and TMG ended their partnership. As a result, Jeffrey has been sidelined this year, leaving Martha without a relative competing in NASCAR’s top series for the first time in decades.
Harvick claimed the first of his four 2018 wins in February at Atlanta Motor Speedway, kicking off a three-race streak. His first-career win came at the same track in 2001, his third race in the series after climbing into Earnhardt’s car. With three fingers out the window on his victory lap to celebrate his latest ATL win, the celebration looked much like the first celebration there which honored the legendary driver of the No. 3.
During a media availability at Dover three years ago, when asked about pressure, Harvick pointed at inheriting Earnhardt’s ride as an example of a high-pressure situation.
"Probably stepping into Dale Earnhardt’s car,” Harvick said. "That was pretty high.”
Apparently, the Earnhardt family is still a source of pressure for Harvick. This time around, though, it’s the pressure of having a legend’s mother among his fans, judging by Harvick’s response to Earnhardt Jr.’s tweet.