For NASCAR Cup Series drivers, it’s not unusual to have decades of experience by the time they take their first flight in a Cup Series car. Many of them, in fact, started racing at middle school, even elementary school age in go-karts and short track races. With almost 30 years in NASCAR, Kevin Harvick is no stranger to the race track. Now, Kevin Harvick is giving the gift of racing to the youth of today, by donating two iRacing simulators to North Carolina teens.
In the heart of NASCAR country lies the Greenville Neighborhood Center, housing the Police Activities League of Charlotte. According to the PAL website, their mission is to “provide opportunities for the youth of our community that foster their Leadership and Citizenship Skills through Academics, Dedication, Enrichment, and Athletics.”
NASCAR legend Kevin Harvick contributed to that mission in a big way when his foundation, The Kevin Harvick Foundation, donated two racing simulators that he uses to prepare for weekly NASCAR events. To make the gesture even more special, Harvick stuck around to teach the teens and police officers at the center how to use the machines.
Kevin Harvick’s Racing Simulators Didn’t Help at COTA
Ahead of a typical NASCAR event, Cup Series drivers use the racing simulators in their homes to practice for the track of the week. For this year’s race at COTA, however, the hours Kevin Harvick and other drivers spent in their simulators proved to be a waste of time. This is because the unusual road course in Austin got a complete makeover before the start of the 2022 season.
Post-race, Kevin Harvick told a FOX interviewer that there was really nothing he could do to properly prepare for the track. “It’s a big change,” Harvick said. “And not having that rhythm and that thought process, for me, is drastically different from your frame of mind and where you need to be.”
Drivers were expecting big curbs or turtles in the esses at COTA, but NASCAR opted to not have them so they wouldn’t tear up the bottom of the cars.— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) March 26, 2022
Kevin Harvick says drivers had to re-learn how to drive that area from what they thought they learned in the simulator: pic.twitter.com/pLvJ0wwBa3
“I felt really good and then I got there and I was like, ‘UGH,’ I almost threw up,” Harvick continued. “Just because I felt really good about the way that we exited the simulator and the things that we’d done, shift points and all that stuff. And that changes, all that. Because it’s just drastically different.”
When asked about the wasted time in the simulators, Harvick replied with a smile, “Oh. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hours were wasted…between everybody. Everybody, not just me.”