Kevin Harvick, the prized free agent on the NASCAR market for 2007, said on Friday he wants to remain with Richard Childress Racing.
“There is a seven-year relationship here that is first and foremost and the main priority to keep,” said Harvick, the Cup rookie of the year in 2001.
Harvick, who has missed the Chase for the Championship in 2004 and 2005, sits ninth in the driver standings and said he's satisfied with the progress of his racing team. “I think our race team is on the same page and has been together for three years, and that is what it takes to win a championship,” he said.
Harvick said he recently told owner Richard Childress of his desire to stay at RCR. Both driver and owner had been noncommittal on a contract extension until Friday. Childress was in Africa on a safari and couldn't be reached for comment.
Harvick, who has five Cup wins and four poles to his credit since 2001, said his deal is on the table and it's up to Childress to make the next move. “It is the thing that we want to work out first and as long as all parties agree to do that, we will see what happens.”
Will money be the main stumbling block to a contract extension?
“I like to win, I don't need money, and I like to win,” Harvick said. “I want to win a championship.”
THEN THERE WERE TWO?
Rumors have been circulating that one of the big three manufacturers — Ford, General Motors and Dodge — has plans to leave NASCAR.
John Fernandez, director of Dodge Motorsports Operations, doesn't believe that will happen. “I've heard the rumor, but obviously we're not involved in it,” he said. “As far as I know, GM and Ford are still committed to NASCAR and committed to racing in the Cup Series.”
PIR still has reserved seats available in the Bobby Allison Grandstand in turns 1 and 2 for today's race.
All tickets in the frontstretch grandstands are sold out, track president Bryan R. Sperber said. Hillside seating outside of turns 3 and 4 also is an option for fans. . .
Free shuttles to the track are available from the parking lot at Desert Sky Mall at the southwest corner of 75th Avenue and Encanto in Phoenix. From the East Valley, motorists on Interstate 10 can use Exit 136B and turn right (north) and drive for about a half-mile.