[media-credit name=”Gary Buchanan” align=”alignright” width=”181″][/media-credit]There was no doubt that Kevin Harvick was anxious last weekend at Daytona with his wife DeLana ready to bring the child known as ‘Baby Otis’ into the world and his race car ready to run under the lights.
Harvick was indeed ready to miss a race if needed in order to be there for the birth of his son. But all worked out for the best and dad was indeed able to get his wife to the hospital on time.
“I was actually home and prepared not to come back if that situation at home,” Harvick said. “Everyone knew where I stood on that.”
“Richard (Childress) has been a big supporter in that and it’s always been family first.”
But all worked out well and the Harvick’s welcomed Keelan Paul Harvick on Sunday, July 8th at 6.8 lbs. and 19.5 inches.
“Waiting on Keelan was the longest nine months of my entire life,” Harvick admitted. “But time literally stood still when I held him for the first time.”
“DeLana and I are just amazed by how special and rewarding this is.”
For both Keelan’s father and mother, the past week has been most eventful. And, of course, Harvick had to pay a bit of a price for getting wife DeLana to the hospital just two hours before the baby was born.
“Dad waited a little long to get her to the hospital,” Harvick said of wife DeLana. “I was obviously not her favorite person as they told her they wouldn’t give her an epidural.”
“She did good,” Harvick continued. “She had it all natural, no drugs or nothing.”
“We had a healthy baby boy and that was the most important things,” Harvick said. “Everybody is good and at home, doing normal things.”
In spite of the rush in getting to the hospital and in spite of being one of NASCAR’s most proficient drivers, Harvick admitted he did not speed while taking his wife in to deliver.
“First off, I did drive her to the hospital,” Harvick said. “The only part for me is that it wasn’t very fast because she was obviously in a lot of pain.”
“We didn’t make any real fast corners,” Harvick continued. “We would go straight and fast.”
“So, I didn’t get yelled at on the drive over and that was my goal.”
Harvick acknowledged what every new parent knows, that of the joys of sleep deprivation with a new little one in the house.
“Yeah, the sleeping pattern is different for sure,” Harvick said. “But we’re fortunate to have a lot of help, obviously with her mom being right there, we’ve been able to incorporate her into everything that is going on.”
“It’s definitely been a change but nothing as bad as everybody made it sound like for sure,” Harvick continued. “It’s been great.”
In typical Harvick style, with both mom and dad being very active in the world of social media, baby Harvick has his own Twitter account already.
“Well Keelan has his own everything because I didn’t want some crazy ass fan getting hold of this Twitter name or his website,” Harvick said. “So he has everything that you could imagine from top to bottom just as more of a personal security piece of mind than anything.”
Harvick did affirm, however, that there was no race vehicle available to baby Keelan, at least at present.
“We’re hoping for no go karts,” Harvick said. “We’re hoping for golf clubs.”
“We’re hoping that we go in a different direction there,” Harvick continued. “But whatever he wants to do.”
With the birth behind him, Harvick is now preparing for what he loves to do this weekend, being back at the track behind the wheel of the No. 29 Rheem Chevrolet. And he is relieved and ready to take on the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
“You know, it’s nice to come to the race track now to be honest with you,” Harvick said. “Over the last few weeks, the anxiety of just everything that was going to happen with having a baby and knowing that everything is settled at home and everybody is healthy.”
“That was the part I was worried about most,” Harvick continued. “Definitely the most relaxed that I’ve been able to be in weeks coming to the track.”
“Obviously this is a place that Shane (Wilson, crew chief) and his guys have had a lot of success at,” Harvick said of the ‘Magic Mile’. “We’ve been fortunate to run well here as well in the past, so we are just looking forward to getting on the race track.”
While Harvick’s eye will be on a checkered flag, he no doubt will be thinking often of his little one at home.
“He’s just starting to get that little smile where he opens his eyes and looks at you,” Harvick said. “It’s pretty neat.”
“That was the best moment I’ve ever got to experience in my life.”