5 Things You Never Knew About NASCAR's Kevin Harvick

While baseball gets the title, America's pastime, NASCAR is right up there in popularity. With the 2016 season in full swing, check out these five facts you might not know about one of auto racing's favorites: Kevin Harvick.

1. His career started in kindergarten
Competition for children karting

It might have been a few years before he got some sponsors, but Harvick marks kindergarten as the beginning of his racing career, according to his foundation website. For a kindergarten graduation gift he received a go-kart and was introduced to the thrill of competitive racing. He would end up competing on the go-kart circuit for a decade as a stepping stone to NASCAR. Talk about putting a kid on a track — pun intended — early in life.

2. He's an extremely devoted dad

One look at Harvick's social media accounts and you'll see his life revolves around two things: NASCAR and his family. Harvick and his wife, DeLana, are proud parents to their little boy, Keelan. In an Associated Press interview, Harvick discussed having a rocky childhood with his own father and said his ultimate priority in life is not to repeat any of his father's mistakes and to be the best parent possible to his son. From the looks of it, that little boy adores his fast-driving dad.

3. He has his own charitable foundation
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint All-Star RaceGetty Images​

On top of being a devoted dad, Harvick is dedicated to improving life for all kids. The Kevin Harvick Foundation supports "programs that positively enrich the lives of children throughout the United States," according to its website. Its mission is to provide opportunities for children, especially underserved youth, to pursue their dreams. One of the foundation's offerings is the Kevin Harvick Athletic Scholarship, a need-based, full-ride scholarship to help student-athletes earn undergraduate degrees.

4. His wife comes from a racing family
NASCAR Champions PortraitsGetty Images for NASCAR​

Harvick married his wife, DeLana, in 2001 after meeting a year prior at Michigan International Speedway when she was working in public relations for another driver. But it's actually DeLana who has been around auto racing longer than Kevin has. She is the daughter of former Busch Series driver John Paul Linville. According to the Harvick Foundation website, DeLana first visited the race track when she was 3 weeks old, and it's been her life ever since. That sure blows Kevin's kindergarten career start out of the water.

5. He has a temper
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice - Go Bowling 400NASCAR via Getty Images​

This one might not be the best-kept secret. Harvick is an extremely competitive, aggressive driver, and sometimes that rubs off on his demeanor. Harvick is known to have temper flairs, resulting in the ironic nickname, Happy Harvick. In fact, he recently berated his pit crew for poor stops — definitely not for the first time — and in the past has swapped his entire crew. While he's surely not the only NASCAR driver with a temper, Harvick's tends to see the spotlight fairly often.

Mary Daly is a journalist from Chicago. She'll stick to go-kart racing.