(WOMR file photo)
It is a bit early, and slightly unusual, for the seat swap game for 2014 to happen. However, with the news breaking, from here at PIR, that Kevin Harvick has apparently signed a multi-year deal with Stewart-Haas Racing beginning in 2014, the shell game has begun.
This was not the first time that there has been some noise about Harvick leaving Richard Childress Racing, the last time was back in 2010, the last time there was contract talk.
Again, now that Harvick is all but gone to SHR for 2014, who will fill the seat in the RCR #29 Chevy in 2014. I say that Harvick is definitely going to SHR, referencing Childress’ attitude this week at PIR.
When Childress was asked about the possibility of Harvick migrating to Stewart-Haas Racing, Childress was reported to be grumpy, and absolutely did not want to talk to reporters about that subject.
So the assumption of this reporter is that the Harvick-SHR is a done deal!
Now the next question is who will be in the RCR #29 Chevy in 2014, and for that matter, what will be the complement of drivers for RCR beginning in 2014?
The most obvious answers to that question is Childress’ eldest grandson, 2011 Camping World Truck Series champion, Austin Dillon. RCR has put out a press release that Austin will race another season, 2013, in the Nationwide Series. So that leads one to believe that Childress would be ready to promote Austin into the Sprint Cup level in 2014.
Childress’ youngest racing grandson, Ty Dillon, is in the hunt for the 2013 Camping World Truck Series championship. He assumed the seat that his brother, Austin, vacated when Childress moved Austin up to the Nationwide Series this year. The assumption is that Ty will remain in The Camping World Truck Series for a second year of seasoning.
Over the last twelve months RCR has lost a couple of key ingredients from their organization, their director of competition, Scott Miller, and driver Clint Bowyer, both migrated to Michael Waltrip Racing. Bowyer secured a new sponsor, 5Hour Energy , and still RCR let him go find other employment, MWR, for 2012.
Now the news is out that the marquee driver, the Dale Earnhardt, Sr. replacement, Kevin Harvick, is departing the organization in 2014. That cannot be great for the morale of RCR, considering that RCR has not performed very well over the 2013 season. Harvick is the only driver to get into the Chase for RCR this year.
The other two drivers, Jeff Burton and Paul Menard, were most definitely under performers this year. Burton will be in his final year of his contract in 2013, and most probably near retirement. Menard is nothing more than an extremely rich kid, journeyman race car driver, and son of home improvement magnate and billionaire, John Menard.
Therefore, the ultimate question that begs to be asked is; what is the future of Richard Childress Racing? Is Childress banking that both of his grandsons, Austin and Ty, will be carrying RCR on their backs beginning in 2014? That may be asking quite a bit from these extremely talented young race car drivers!
Nevertheless, Childress let Bowyer with full sponsorship for the 2012 season, leave to find another race team, additionally Harvick has departed the fix for SHR inn 2014. It is readily apparent to WOMR that Richard Childress is betting, literally, the farm on his two grandsons!
Good luck, Richard!
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!