By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
Ever since the announcement was made that Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) would change manufacturers after the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season, questions have been raised about Kevin Harvick’s ties to Chevrolet, and whether he would continue at SHR as they move to Ford, or would go elsewhere. Those rumors were squashed today as SHR announced a long-term contract extension for Harvick.
Harvick said the following on his future with the organization, “It was a big decision to join Stewart-Haas Racing and it has turned out to be my best decision. I came to Stewart-Haas Racing to win championships. We have one, but that only made us hungry for more. I’m very happy to have my future secure with a team so dedicated to winning.”
The extension will allow Harvick to remain paired up with his crew chief Rodney Childers, with whom Harvick has earned nine victories, including five in his debut year with SHR, and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship since joining SHR. Harvick finished runner-up in the championship last year. Childers signed a multi-year contract extension last June.
Harvick’s stats to date since joining SHR have included nine poles, 5,119 laps led, nine victories, 42 top fives, and 57 top 10s. Harvick currently leads the Sprint Cup Series points standings with a 21-point advantage on Kyle Busch.
SHR co-owner Tony Stewart said of Harvick, “Kevin’s results speak for themselves, and in addition to those numbers, he brings a presence to our team that makes everyone want to work harder. Kevin Harvick has made Stewart-Haas Racing a better team and he will continue to be an integral part of our future.”
In 2011, Stewart won the first championship for SHR, with Harvick winning it’s most recent in 2014. SHR is one of just five active organizations with multiple championships. The other teams with two or more premier series championships are Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Richard Childress Racing, and Roush Fenway Racing.
Gene Haas, the second half of the ownership of SHR and founder of Haas Automation, the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America, said of Harvick, “When you have talented people who consistently deliver results, you hold on to them. Kevin Harvick is an exceptional talent and we’re very proud to have him a part of Stewart-Haas Racing for years to come.”
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