Sources: Harvick looking for exit from Childress
Where will Kevin Harvick race in 2010?
Harvick, the 2007 Daytona 500 winner, has asked for his release from his current contract with Richard Childress Racing and has even begun to shop himself to other teams in the garage, sources told FOXSports.com.
Despite Harvick's sometimes contentious relationship with Childress, the owner is content to keep his driver in the stable.
"Richard Childress Racing has a multi-year contract with Shell-Pennzoil that includes the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season," Childress said in a statement to FOXSports.com. "RCR also has a multi-year contract with Kevin Harvick that includes the 2010 season. That said, Shell will be the sponsor and Kevin will be the driver of RCR's No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet Impala SS in 2010."
Currently 25th in the Sprint Cup point standings, Harvick, 33, is fourth among the four RCR drivers. His best finish of the season was second at the Daytona 500, but he hasn't posted a top five since finishing fourth at Atlanta in March.
According to team sources, there's been dissention between the driver and RCR, particularly with Harvick allegedly making a run at two of Childress' primary sponsors — Shell and Jack Daniel's.
"Shell and Pennzoil have enjoyed much success on and off the track as a result of our alliance with Richard Childress Racing and Kevin Harvick," said Heidi Massey-Bong, Senior Business Advisor of NASCAR Sponsorship for Shell Oil Co. U.S. "We are pleased to be sponsoring the No. 29 car in 2010 and look forward to watching the Shell and Pennzoil colors each week as part of the RCR team and to continued success next season.
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"Beyond that, we do not have any further news or information regarding the rumors."
With the recent cuts from GM directly affecting Harvick's own Kevin Harvick Inc., which fields teams in the Camping World Truck and Nationwide Series', it's understandable that he has been distracted. Still, his Cup winless streak reached 90 races at Chicagoland Speedway.
"He just wants to win," said a source close to the situation. "Obviously, we're not doing that right now. But Richard is working on some changes to make (Kevin) happy."
Despite reports that Harvick is being courted by Stewart-Haas Racing, the organization denies any talks have taken place.
"We have not talked to Kevin," a source from Stewart-Haas told FOXSports.com on Wednesday.
The source added that Stewart and Harvick are friends, but the driver is currently under contract with RCR.
But is there still a shot that Stewart Haas Racing will expand to three cars in 2010?
"It would all boil down to having the right driver and the right sponsor," said SHR general manager Bobby Hutchens. "Right now our focus is to get both of these cars in the Chase and have some fun along the way."
Since being promoted to the Cup level following the death of Dale Earnhardt in 2001, Harvick has accumulated 11 wins, 58 top fives and 122 top 10s in 305 races with RCR. He has finished a career-best fourth twice in the championship (2006, '08). He has qualified for the last three versions of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, but that streak will likely come to an end this season as he currently sits 25th in points with eight races remaining before NASCAR's 10-race playoff begins.
Harvick is entered in this weekend's Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 Nationwide Series race at Gateway International Raceway.