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Kevin Harvick's Kern Raceway enters new era with grand re-opening

Kevin Harvick's Kern Raceway enters new era with grand re-opening
Posted at 4:26 PM, Mar 15, 2024

KERN COUNTY, Calif. (KERO) — On Saturday, March 16, the race track formerly known as Kern County Raceway Park will enter a new era as Kevin Harvick's Kern Raceway.

  • The track will hold several races on Saturday culminating in a zMax CARSTour West Series race.
  • 23ABC spoke with Harvick, a Kern County native and retired NASCAR Driver, and Landen Lewis, a racer in this coming weekend's race for this story.
  • Originally the raceway was slated to hold its first event under the new moniker and ownership on March 2nd, however rain on race day postponed the races until March 16th.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

Kevin Harvick' Kern Raceway is slated to hold its grand reopening under new ownership this weekend with the zMax CARS Tour West series. I'm Sam Hoyle your neighborhood reporter. The raceway was slated to burn rubber two weekends ago. However, rain in the forecast pumped the brakes on that idea. Now with the sun out, and temps in the 70s, race day is a go.

Ahead of the postponement, 23ABC caught up with Harvick about the grand reopening who was understandably disappointed about the postponement, but excited about Saturday's events.

"I tell people this all the time Bakersfield is a racing town. And there's a lot of racers, auto racing, car enthusiasts that live in California, but especially around Bakersfield. If you took Bakersfield and you put it right in Mooresville, North Carolina with all the pcup and XFINITY Truck teams, everybody would fit right in together," said Harvick.

On Thursday, ahead of the original race day, we went over to the track where we met Landen Lewis, a driver out of North Carolina who is under Harvick's management team. And while it's not the first time he'd raced on the track, he was stoked to see the changes made by the new management group ahead of the grand re-opening.

Neighborhood News Reporter Sam Hoyle interviewing Landen Lewis, a driver out of North Carolina
Neighborhood News Reporter Sam Hoyle interviewing Landen Lewis, a driver out of North Carolina

"My initial impression was first when I pulled it to the racetrack, how good of a job Tim has done with this place and turned it around. It's very bright out just because of the walls and everything he's done to make this track better than it was before," said Lewis in between practice sessions. "It's really cool to be back out here with these guys. And back at Kern, I'd consider Kern one of my favorite racetracks."

While the conversation with Harvick was mostly on the re-opening of the racetrack, the conversation deviated a little bit to his personal history as a wrestler at North High, where it was a bit of advice he didn't take that got him to where he is today.

"I still speak to my high school wrestling coach very often. And he went he was actually at my last race and, and we joke all the time that he used to, he used to tell me that I needed to concentrate on wrestling and I needed to not worry about that racing thing so much. So he calls it the best piece of advice that he ever gave me that I didn't listen to," said Harvick with a laugh.

Saturday's practice sessions start at 1 p.m., the spectator gates open at 4 p.m., tickets for this race can be purchased online.


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