Random Lugnuts: Harvick's Gotta Stay
Topics: Kevin Harvick, Richard Childress Racing What is Random Lugnuts? It's random bits of stock car racing commentary written on an irregular basis by an irregular racing fan. The name is a reference to the lugnuts that go flying off a car during a pit stop: you never know where they are going to go, what they're going to do when they get there, they can be annoying, they're often useless after a race, and every once in a while someone gets hit and they don't know exactly where it came from.
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April 29, 2010
NASCAR.com's headline this evening, Turning Point, had the following question below it: "Kevin Harvick finally returned to Victory Lane -- but will it keep him at RCR?"
Of course, there are realistically no open seats for Kevin Harvick to go in 2011 that would provide a competitive ride with a Chevrolet bowtie on the hood (he reportedly wants to stay with Chevrolet if he moves).
However, what I haven't seen discussed much is the fact that Kevin Harvick is more than a Cup driver. He is, through DeLana (the owner of record on his vehicles), a premiere team owner in two of NASCAR's national touring series. In the Nationwide Series his #33 car ranks second in owners' points and in the Camping World Truck Series his #2 truck is ranked #1 in owners' points. Ron Hornaday, driving Kevin's #33 truck, won last year's Camping World Truck Series Championship.
Kevin Harvick, Inc. was built in no small measure with the assistance of Richard Childress Racing. It is unlikely that he could have built what he did if he wasn't driving for Childress. At the last report I can find on the subject Kevin Harvick, Inc. was still getting engines from ECR for his Nationwide cars, and earlier this week Richard Childress was talking about his team working together with Kevin Harvick's team.
So, the past, present and possible future of Kevin Harvick, Inc. is tied to Richard Childress Racing. I know that has to be weighing on his mind as he considers his options, and I'm suprised its not mentioned more in discussions about Kevin's future as an RCR driver.
Will his win at Talladega help him stay at RCR? I think he has to stay with Childress this year, but it will probably help him find a good sponsor. And if he left, what does he stand to gain, considering the options he has open to him this year? Leaving a team that hasn't won in years was just taken off the table in one heck of a pass, so it did perhaps make him more sure of the inevitable decision that awaits us later this season.
I think, considering KHI's performance, his own recent win, as well as the lack of Chevrolet options open to him, that the only details left to work out are his terms for a new contract with Richard Childress. I don't think there are any other serious options out on the table right now.
But I've been wrong before...
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