Kevin Harvick has come a long way in a short period of time. Or, at least his final step to a championship appears to have been a short step.

One former driver, Dale Earnhardt, Sr., saw the potention in Harvick nearly two decades ago. Earnhardt pushed hard for Richard Childress to hire Harvick with the ultimate intention being for Harvick to become the driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet. Unforseen issues changed the path and possibly lenghtened Harvick's path to the title of Sprint Cup Series Champion.

Harvick also says his path to the top was not all of Earnhardt's initial work.

“I don’t know that is 100 percent true," stated Harvick when asked about Earnhardt's hands being in the process. "I think obviously Richard (Childress) hired me and we had some success the first year. And I’d been a part of the conversations between Richard and Dale (Earnhardt, Sr.) that were really just about not racing on Saturday and racing on Sunday because there was a lot more to achieve. There was a lot more financial gain on Sunday’s; especially at that particular time. Dale would prod at Richard on occasion to make it happen but that was really only one year."

Harvick explains he wasn't like a son or dear friend of Earnhardt, and even talked about being fearful of approaching the 7-time champion.

"We were pretty green and scared to death to walk up there and go in the lounge and talk to him, first off. But it was definitely an interesting time in the sport that I think you’ll see again in six to 10 years just for the fact that there’s going to be a lot of open seats.”

Open seats or not, Harvick, as a Sprint Cup Series champion, will always have a seat at a table which includes Dale Earnhardt Sr., and other champions from the world of NASCAR.

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