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Could Kevin Harvick’s career at Richard Childress Racing be ending?
ESPN reported Friday that Harvick – who has never raced for any other team in NASCAR other than RCR – had signed a deal to drive for Stewart-Haas Racing in the Sprint Cup Series beginning with the 2014 season.
Neither Harvick nor SHR team owner Tony Stewart would confirm the report Friday on the record.
During his media availability on Friday at Phoenix International Raceway, Stewart was asked about ESPN’s report and said, “I will tell you this, when we have something to tell you guys, we’ll tell you. I’ve always said that.
“You guys can throw darts, but when we have something to tell you that’s different than what we’ve got going on, we’ll obviously tell you.”
An official with RCR said the organization would have no comment on the report.
The Budweiser sponsorship on Harvick’s No. 29 Chevrolet car at RCR may well move with Harvick to SHR. The sponsor’s current deal concludes at the end of the 2013 season and sources said Budweiser would be open to continuing its relationship with the driver.
Harvick has driven for RCR throughout his 12-year career. He replaced the late Dale Earnhardt in 2001 after Earnhardt was killed in a last-lap wreck in the Daytona 500.
Harvick has 18 career Cup wins at RCR and twice finished third in the final series standings (2010 and 2011). He is winless so far this season and 11th in points.
NASCAR 2013 preseason testing set
NASCAR will conduct a three-day test of its 2013 model Sprint Cup Series cars at Daytona International Speedway 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Jan. 10-12.
NASCAR’s Preseason Thunder Fan Fest will also take place during that time, with the Sprint FanZone in operation 5:30-9:30 p.m. Jan. 10.
Driver question-and-answer sessions and autograph sessions will be announced later. For information: (800) PIT-SHOP.
In addition, NASCAR has scheduled a pair of 2013 Cup car tests at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Dec. 11-12 and Jan. 17-18. These tests will not count toward the four-test allotment teams have for the 2013 season.
“We’ve put together an aggressive and extensive testing schedule for the new car and we are pleased with how things are progressing,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR’s Vice President of Competition.
Austin Dillon to make 500 debut
Nationwide Series driver Austin Dillon will make his debut in the Daytona 500 next February, partnering with General Mills to drive the No. 33 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing. Dillon remains in contention to win this season’s Nationwide title.
Crew chief suspended
Charles J. Henry, crew chief for RSS Racing’s No. 38 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Truck Series has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating its substance abuse policy.