At 7:30 a.m. last Saturday – the morning of the Coke Zero 400 – Kevin Harvick boarded his plane in Daytona Beach with wife DeLana and headed back to North Carolina.
DeLana, who was close to giving birth, needed to get home. And her husband was willing to stay with her if she went into labor – even if it meant losing valuable points toward NASCAR's Chase.
"Everybody knew where I stood on that," Kevin said. "... I would hate for anybody to miss that. There's nothing around here (in NASCAR) that's really even comparable to it.
"Richard (Childress) has been a big supporter of that. It's always been, 'Family first, and we'll figure the rest out later.'"
Think about that: Harvick would rather miss the Chase than miss the birth of his son. So as it turns out, he might be nominated for Husband of the Year.
He may not actually win the award, though, since he delayed getting DeLana to the hospital on Sunday morning. By the time she got there, it only took two hours to give birth to a baby boy named Keelan.
"Dad waited a little long to get her to the hospital," Kevin said. "I was obviously not her favorite person as they told her they wouldn't give her an epidural. She had it all natural, no drugs or nothing."
At least DeLana got a hospital ride from a professional race car driver. But Kevin said he took it easy and avoided going too fast through the corners or hitting bumps, because "she was obviously in a lot of pain."
"I didn't get yelled at on the drive over, so that was my only goal," he cracked.
Now that mother and baby are healthy, Kevin acknowledged the anxiety of worrying about the impending birth had been weighing on him in recent weeks. Would the baby be healthy? Would DeLana make it through OK? He couldn't get those thoughts out of his mind, he said.
After Sunday, he added, there's a "huge sense of relief."
The Harvicks already secured a Twitter name for the baby – it's @KeelanHarvick – and a website domain name in order to protect their child.
"I didn't want some crazy-ass fan getting ahold of" the names and misusing them, Kevin said.
By the way, Keelan's mom and dad are hoping the boy will choose a safer profession than racing.
"We're hoping for golf clubs over go-karts," he said. "But whatever he wants."