Is Kevin Harvick Leaving RCR or is This a Trial Balloon?

Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE

Normally by the last two weeks of the season all driver or team moves in NASCARare done. Rarely does a driver end up in play for switching teams next year little alone the year after.  ESPN is reporting that there is a deal between Kevin Harvick and Stewart Haas Racing to drive in 2014.  Kevin would possibly be bringing his current sponsor Budweiser with him.

The rarity of a contract discussion happening a year before leads to nothing but questions.  The first one is that Richard Childress was caught off guard when the story broke.  This can mean one of two things; the first is that it is really a possibility.  The second is that maybe Kevin is testing the water early to see what his status actually is at Richard Childress Racing, a trial balloon. Before we get to these we need to discuss why Kevin might be doing this.

The Richard Childress Racing Chevrolets have simply been slow all year and some would say several years.  They are definitely behind the Chevy’s being prepared by Hendrick Motor Sports.  Those same Chevys that Stewart Hass Racing are using.  Those same Chevys that Tony Stewart drove to his championship last year.  The same Chevys that Jimmie Johnson has driven to five and perhaps six championships.

With no wins only, 4 top 5s, and 12 top ten in 34 of 36 races Kevin is having one of his worst seasons of his career.  He is eleventh in the standings which might as well be the last of the Chase contenders because Dale Earnhardt Jr. artificially put himself twelfth by sitting out two races.

Quite frankly putting all of that together the future doesn’t look very bright for Kevin at Richard Childress Racing.  No one would blame him if he wanted to see if he could do better elsewhere.

Could Kevin be leaving RCR for SHR?  The answer is yes he could.  Add in the fact that Kevin and Tony Stewart are good friends and this makes even more sense.  If Kevin is bringing Budweiser with him then it is a very easy deal to make happen.

Kevin may be just testing the waters prior to negotiating his contract for 2014.  With Richard Childress’s grandchildren the Dillon brothers doing well in the lower series. It is apparent it will only be a matter of time when they will be moving up to the Cup series.  Add in the fact that all the cars are not performing well and Kevin might just be opening the door of discussion.  He might just want to know where he will stand and what will be done to be competitive in the future.  The reason being; why would any driver want to drive a whole season for a lame duck team?  Either way we now have something to talk about and watch during the offseason.

Brian Berg Jr. is the Lead NASCAR writer for RantSports.com.

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary. On Facebook at NASCAR News and Commentary


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