Found November 14, 2012 on
Race Review Online:
Kevin Harvick will be joining Stewart-Hass Racing for the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Harvick has raced his entire NASCAR career up to this point with RCR, making his way up the ranks from the Camping World Truck Series to the Nationwide Series and then to Cup. He has 18 career wins in Cup competition with a best points finish of third in 2010 and 2011.
The reason the move isn’t until ’14 is because Harvick still has a year remaining with RCR. Stewart-Hass currently fields two cars in Cup competition with Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman piloting them. They will expand to a three-car operation next season, adding Danica Patrick to the stable.
The announcement of bringing Harvick in is going to affect Newman. The “Rocket” lost US Army as a primary sponsor and is going to piece together deals to run all 36 races next season. He was going to be a free agent, but Stewart wanted to bring him back for another year. Newman’s deal is only one year though so if he can’t secure sponsorship for the future then he appears to be out at SHR in ’14.
Harvick more than likely will bring Budweiser with him if the reports are true and Patrick has GoDaddy backing. That leaves two cars funded while Stewart is searching for a deal himself. He certainly doesn’t want to get rid of his buddy Newman, but if he can’t secure sponsorship for the No. 39 in ’14 he’s going to have to do so.
Newman has 16 career Cup wins and 49 poles. He won the 2008 Daytona 500 with Penske and had his best years with them. There were high hopes for Newman with SHR, but he hasn’t performed like Stewart wants. Stewart won the championship last year and has been a factor for wins nearly every week. Newman, on the other hand, has struggled in most races despite making the Chase in two of the four years with SHR. That though is a huge decline as he finished in the top 10 in points his first four seasons in Cup. His production has been going down each year.
It’s no secret now that Newman needs to have his best career season next year to salvage his career. Finding sponsorship is going to be tough and the only way to do so is with success.
Stewart and Newman have a long history of friendship since their USAC days in the early 90s. Stewart doesn’t want to fire his buddy as both hail from Indiana and have a nice connection. It would benefit the organization to have four cars and two Daytona 500 winners in their stable with Patrick and Stewart. It’s just going to be tough without a sponsor.
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