A lot of speculation and rumors have ended today with the announcement that No. 4 driver, Kevin Harvick has signed an extension to his contract with Stewart-Haas Racing.
While terms of the deal were not disclosed, SHR said the deal was a multiyear agreement and will remain paired with his current crew chief Rodney Childers, who signed a multiyear contract extension last June.
“It was a big decision to join Stewart-Haas Racing and it has turned out to be my best decision,” said Harvick.
“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.”
Earlier in the year, SHR announced it would be switching manufacturers for the 2017 season from Chevrolet to Fords. Speculation between this and Tony Stewart retiring at the end of the year lead to rumors that Harvick would be leaving SHR at the conclusion of the 2016.
Since Harvick entered the Cup series with Richard Childress Racing, he has always driven Chevrolets, but in modern NASCAR, there are fewer and fewer career drivers with a single manufacturer. Long time Ford driver, Carl Edwards moved over to Joe Gibbs Racing, driving Toyotas. Clint Bowyer in three years will be with three different manufacturers — Toyota last year with Michael Waltrip Racing, Chevrolet this year with HScott Motorsports (who is aligned with SHR) and Ford in 2017 with SHR.
Drivers and manufacturers are rarely a lifetime commitment anymore. Like other professional sports, the drivers go where the best opportunities and money go. Harvick as a good thing going at Stewart-Haas Racing with a successful team and a championship under his belt. Whether its a bowtie, blue oval or Toyota’s emblem on the front of the car makes little to the drivers. It’s all about being competitive and having a full-time seat.
Harvick has both with SHR and the team he helped build there. Don’t expect either to take that for granted without some major changes in success happening in the coming years.
Source: Stewart-Haas Racing – Kevin Harvick Signs Long-term Contract Extension with Stewart-Haas Racing
Let's play a game. What has better information about things I do.
— Kevin Harvick (@KevinHarvick) May 17, 2016