Summer time, it’s the time in the season when everybody officially makes plans for the 2014 season. And Friday, Kevin Harvick made it official that he will be joining Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) next season. Budweiser, Harvick’s current sponsor, also announced that they will follow Harvick and continue to sponsor him at SHR.
Kevin Harvick has raced for Richard Childress Racing his entire Sprint Cup career, starting when he took over Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s car after his death in 2001. Many fans of the sport remember Harvick’s emotional first win at Atlanta Motor Speedway where he beat Jeff Gordon by inches.
Why the move to SHR for Harvick? “I needed to make a change from a personal standpoint,” said Harvick during a media session at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Harvick added that he wants to “rejuvenate (his) career.”
In a press release from SHR, Harvick thanked Richard Childress for his commitment, “I can’t thank Richard Childress and everyone at RCR enough for everything they’ve done for my career,” Harvick added. “I was just trying to make a name for myself in the Truck Series and Richard believed in me enough to make me a part of his race team back in 1999. Without him, and without the hard work of so many people at RCR, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
In 2014, Harvick’s car at Stewart Haas Racing will carry the No. 4. The specific number was chosen for “consistency” with Tony Stewart‘s number of 14.
The addition of Budweiser joining kevin Harvick at SHR came after Harvick’s new deal was signed. SHR took it upon themselves to find a primary sponsor for the new car. That sponsor just happen to be Budweiser.
In the press release from SHR, “Over the last three years, Kevin has been an amazing ambassador for Budweiser, both on and off the track,” said Blaise D’Sylva, vice president of media, sports and entertainment marketing, Anheuser-Busch. “We value that level of commitment, and we’re proud to join him at Stewart-Haas Racing next season.”
Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, co-owners of SHR, had positive things to say about the addition of Kevin Harcick and Budweiser in 2014, “We’re very proud to have such an iconic brand in Budweiser and an incredibly accomplished racer in Kevin Harvick join Stewart-Haas Racing,” said Tony Stewart, three-time Sprint Cup Series champion and co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing with Haas Automation founder Gene Haas. “Budweiser is the leader in its industry and Kevin has proven himself year-after-year in our sport. It’s a partnership we welcome as it will make our entire organization stronger.”
Tony Stewart stated that SHR will not be able to support a fourth car in 2014 and Ryan Newman will no longer drive for the organization following 2013. As far as Ryan Newman’s plans for 2014, nothing has been announced but rumors have swirled about Newman driving a second car at Furniture Row Racing.
Kevin Harvick says his teams goal for the remainder of the 2013 season is to win races and make a run at the championship. Details still need to be worked out when it comes to the No. 4 car at SHR but Harvick added that those details won’t be dealt with until the checkered flag flies at Homestead.