Kevin Harvick was on track to join Richard Childress Racing at the Cup Series level in 2002 until the unthinkable happened at the 2001 Daytona 500.
Dale Earnhardt died in a crash coming to the start-finish line of the Great American Race which led to Richard Childress moving his then-Busch Series driver up to the Cup Series.
The car number changed from No. 3 to No. 29 and the color went from black to white. Harvick posted solid finishes in his first two races at Rockingham and Las Vegas, then the series went to Atlanta.
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Three weeks after Earnhardt's passing, Harvick drove the No. 29 RCR Chevrolet to victory by one of the closest margins in NASCAR history (0.006 seconds) over Jeff Gordon.
The track was filled with emotion as fans in the stands held up three fingers to honor Earnhardt and many became a lifetime fan of Harvick for the role he played in the healing process.
Almost 16 years since that victory, Harvick heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway still seeking his second win at the 1.540-mile track.
"I don't know how you could script it any different. I'm sure this is going to be pretty difficult for all of us," Harvick said in Victory Lane. "All I can say is this one is for Dale…I think somebody was watching over us."
Check out the race finish and if you have an hour, watch this abbreviated version of the race above.