The Hot Pass: Harvick, Childress reach deal

Kevin Harvick will continue his partnership with Richard Childress Racing.

Harvick signed a multi-year contract but sponsorship has yet to be finalized, sources told RCR is talking to several potential sponsors but Budweiser appears to be the leading candidate. Another scenario presented for Harvick is the possibility of moving Budweiser to the No. 33 Chevrolet with Clint Bowyer and bringing General Mills to the No. 29.

An announcement is expected as early as Saturday afternoon at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Although Harvick said during his media availability on Friday there was "nothing new to report," the driver admitted during Nationwide Series testing at Daytona that he was not "looking for a different situation."

"It's no secret that Richard and I have talked about a lot of things for a while now, and time really just ends up being the key factor that you just don't have," Harvick said. "I'm trying to stay focused on what I'm doing, and really, I'm probably the one who holds a lot of situations up, because I just have to be in the right frame of mind to talk about things, and I'm not home a lot, and I'm just not going to let it take away from what we have.

"Whether it's good or bad, I'm not going to drag it out through the media like we did last time (in 2006). I think it's all gone really well. Hopefully, we can come to a conclusion on what needs to happen here shortly."

Harvick, 34, started his career with RCR in the Nationwide Series with one race in 1999 and ran the entire season the following year. After finishing third in his first full season, Harvick was poised to run for the NNS title in 2001. When Dale Earnhardt was killed in a last lap crash in the Daytona 500, Harvick, then 25, had the daunting task of taking over the Cup ride and continuing the NNS program.

Not only did Harvick win the Nationwide Series title, he finished ninth in the point standings (running just 35 of 36 events) and won his first Cup race in just his third career start.

In 2002, Harvick laid the groundwork for Kevin Harvick Inc., but continued driving for RCR in both Cup and NNS through 2007. Harvick ran a limited number of races in the No. 33 KHI Chevrolet when he won his second NNS title and has won two owners championships with Ron Hornaday Jr. driving the No. 33 truck.

Ownership has offered Harvick a different perspective from behind the wheel. While Harvick's relationship with Childress has been strained at times, lately he has exhibited a stronger leadership role. Certainly leading the points cures a lot of ills.

The current resurgence of RCR began surfacing last summer. The reorganization of company last fall has paid additional dividends with for the last four weeks.

"A lot of it started happening at (Indianapolis) last year," Harvick said. "One of us (himself or teammates Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer) was racing for wins pretty much the last six to eight weeks of the season. We weren't consistently all up front as we are now, because we just didn't have all the cars built that we needed to have -- primaries, backups and everything sitting in the shop.

"It's been a huge turnaround. The cars are a lot of fun to drive. For us, its just go do what you're supposed to be doing every week, and that's run up front and be competitive."

The new deal was first reported by the Charlotte Observer .