Stewart-Haas Racing's busy week as Daytona approaches

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It's a busy week for Stewart-Haas Racing as the start of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series nears.

Kevin Harvick turned the first laps at a NASCAR track in the team's new Ford Fusion during a two-day test at Phoenix International Raceway and showed speed right off the truck, which should be no surprise to anyone.

Thursday back at the team's shop in North Carolina, Harvick's No. 4 team won the intramural pit-crew challenge, defeating the crews from the cars driven by Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer and Danica Patrick.

On a less happy note, Busch's crew chief, Tony Gibson, came down with the flu earlier this week and then had to be hospitalized to have his gallbladder removed.

Best of luck for a speedy recovery to Gibson.

And on the Danica Patrick front, team spokesman Mike Arning said in an e-mail that "Nature's Bakery and Stewart-Haas Racing remain in discussions about how the sponsorship might look in 2017."