By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief
AVONDALE, Ariz. – With a race weekend at Phoenix International Raceway on the horizon, Kevin Harvick met with the media Friday morning ahead of this Sunday’s Good Sam 300.
Harvick, 40, won last year’s event at Phoenix International Raceway. In fact, the California native has won four of the last five, dominating the 1-mile oval since the repave a few seasons ago.
Harvick is in the midst of his third season with Stewart-Haas Racing, but recently the team announced that it is moving away from Chevrolet and going to Ford for the 2017 season. Stewart-Haas Racing has had an alliance with Hendrick Motorsports since their inception into the Sprint Cup Series in 2009, winning two championships with Harvick and co-owner/driver Tony Stewart.
Since 2001 when he made his debut with Richard Childress Racing, Harvick has only driven for Chevrolet. Leaving many to speculate that there is a possibility the 2015 Sprint Cup champion could leave SHR, but on Friday Harvick erased any doubts on where his loyalty resides.
“I don’t see any reason why that wouldn’t happen,” said Harvick. “For me I’m in the best position that I’ve been in with my team. I feel like I have the best crew chief [Rodney Childers] in the garage. It would be pretty tough to turn around and walk out on everybody who has been a part of building everything that we have built so far.”
Grabbing Stewart-Haas Racing from the clutches of Chevrolet is a big step forward for Ford, who currently has an elite organization in Team Penske with drivers Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano, but has seen the remainder of its teams such as Roush Fenway Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports struggle.
Losing a stable of drivers that will include Harvick, Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer and Danica Patrick next season is a huge loss for Chevrolet and a tremendous gain for Ford.
Since joining SHR, Harvick has enjoyed a career breakthrough with eight wins, nine poles and a championship.
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