Kevin Harvick is enjoying a resurgence on the track, and his wife, DeLana Harvick, continues to have success running the family’s celebrity marketing company, KHI Management. In addition to their careers, the Harvicks have their hands full with two small children, Keeland and Piper. Kevin’s crew chief Rodney Childers notes DeLana would be successful at any number of things.
“DeLana is good at so many things,” Childers told NASCAR.com. “She could run any business if she wanted to, she could run any race team if she wanted to. I think that anyone that’s been around her for a period of time realizes that.”
From running public relations for Jeff Gordon to representing athletes, DeLana has done a little bit of everything.
Learn more about DeLana who has a lot of titles including CEO and mother.
1. The Couple Welcomed Their 2nd Child, Piper Grace, on December 28, 2017
The Harvicks ended 2017 with a new addition to their family. The couple welcomed their second child, Piper Grace, to the world on December 28, 2017. Kevin tweeted a birth announcement with the following caption.
“Miss Piper Grace joined the gang Thursday night! Everyone is healthy and we have an extremely excited big brother!” Kevin tweeted.
Kevin spoke to NASCAR.com after the birth of their son, Keelan, about how fatherhood had impacted his life on and off the track.
“It’s been good just for the fact it’s added a good balance to my life,” Harvick told NASCAR.com. “It allows me to let go of things a lot quicker than I used to just for the fact that I have something else to do, other than racing, at home. In the end, he doesn’t really care if I won or lost. I like to have Keelan around and I like to have DeLana around at the events. I know he definitely takes in a lot of exposure, but I like to have him around because those things are going to happen if you want them to or not. We just try to be normal.”
2. DeLana Initially Set Up Her Friend With Kevin on a Blind Date
DeLana did not know it at the time, but she set up a friend with the man who would end up being her future husband. DeLana was helping out another friend who needed a date for a Christmas party. DeLana had a friend coming into town, and wanted to make sure she did not spend the night alone. DeLana detailed the evening to The Fast and the Fabulous.
I actually had set one of my friends up with Kevin, kind of as a blind date. My friend that I grew up with was a crew chief at RCR and I was always his back-up date. He was like my big brother and he needed someone to go with him to the RCR Christmas party and I said, ‘Sure, I’ll go, but I have a friend in town from L.A. Is there anyone you could set her up with?’
He goes, ‘Yeah, let me check. There’s this new kid coming in. His name is Kevin. He’s going to drive for us.’ And I said, ‘Okay. As long as he’s not a jerk, I’ll let her go with him.’ We happened to walk in a little bit late that night, and Kevin shot a smart comment back and I fired back at him, and we’ve never been apart from that date.
3. DeLana’s 1st Job Was Managing Jeff Gordon’s Publicity
According to NASCAR.com, DeLana’s first job was with PPR Plus handling Jeff Gordon’s publicity. DeLana graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a degree in English. She used a prior PR internship to learn about the NASCAR business. DeLana’s role at PPR plus included juggling a lot of different roles.
“I came in doing hospitality, slinging bratwurst and waking up at four in the morning, giving pit tours and things like that,” DeLana told NASCAR.com. “And then I slowly started to be allowed to write for them and I handled a lot of the Make-A-Wish (Foundation) side of things at that point. So I really got a whole education on the business side of NASCAR that I didn’t know.”
4. DeLana Runs KHI Management, a Celebrity-Marketing Agency, Whose Clients Include Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, James Hahn, Chesson Hadley & Shannon Spake
DeLana was co-owner of Kevin Harvick Incorporated, which managed several race teams. According to NASCAR.com, the Harvicks ended up merging the organization with Richard Childress Racing in 2011, and the couple would have their first child just a year later. Years later, the couple changed the scope of what they wanted to focus on, and broadened their reach beyond NASCAR. DeLana and Kevin started KHI Management in 2013 as a celebrity marketing agency. They have clients in a wide range of sports including pro golf, boxing and sports media.
KHI Management’s current client list includes golfer Chesson Hadley, boxer Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, golfer James Hahn and sports broadcaster Shannon Spake. The business was formed after a conversation with Cerrone that made it clear there was a need from athletes outside of NASCAR.
“While we never really thought about life after the race team, in that discussion with ‘Cowboy’ we realized that there were opportunities outside of racing where people didn’t really have the best representation,” DeLana told NASCAR.com. “It’s been great to learn different business models because I feel like we had a really good understanding of NASCAR and what we needed to do to make our teams be successful. I think sometimes you just get in a funk and I feel like we could have done so many things in NASCAR with our eyes closed. That’s not to say it’s easy. You just know.”
5. DeLana’s Dad, John Paul Linville, Was a Self-Funded Driver
DeLana got good practice running a race team, as her father, John Paul Linville, was a self-funded driver. When DeLana was in her 20’s, she even tried her hand at racing, but opted to head to college. NASCAR.com detailed DeLana’s introduction into racing thanks to her father.
A native of Kernsville, North Carolina, Harvick was born into a racing family. From 3 weeks old, she was at the track supporting her self-funded racing dad, John Paul Linville. Linville raced without the large, corporate sponsors you see on cars today. As Harvick grew up, she became responsible for managing the day-to-day activities and learning at the grassroots level what it takes to run an organization.
Growing up, Harvick wanted to pilot a race car. She didn’t get the chance to get behind the wheel until she was in her 20s, and by then, she felt the opportunity to be a successful driver had passed.