If you only ever listened to garage insiders you'd be fairly certain that Kevin Harvick was going to be wearing a Red Bull firesuit behind the wheel of a Toyota next season. But Harvick just isn't sure where he will be next year. Car owner...
If you only ever listened to garage insiders you'd be fairly certain that Kevin Harvick was going to be wearing a Red Bull firesuit behind the wheel of a Toyota next season. But Harvick just isn't sure where he will be next year.
Car owner Richard Childress and Harvick have set a mid-April deadline to decide whether Harvick will continue as the driver of the No. 29 Chevy or move on to greener pastures.
"There's probably only two more contracts or maybe three that I'll have in my career," explained Harvick. "I just don't want to do something that everybody is not happy with or I'm not happy with. I'm just trying to think it through. I understand it raises a lot of questions right now. I'm bothered by all the things that everybody is assuming. Everything is signed and done. I really haven't even sat down and thought about where it's going. I've been really trying to concentrate on what I'm trying to do for the rest of the year. I just want to make the right decision.
"There's really no criteria. I just want to be happy in my day-to-day life and win races. That's what it all boils down. The fact of the matter is, it's not about money. I read last week that price tags are too high but it's really not about that. I could quit right now and not have to work a day in my life. It's not anything about money, it's about winning races."
Luck just has not been on Harvick's side this year. Costly mistakes on pit road have bogged the team into 23rd in points. They have failed to produce a top ten finish and have two results of 29th or worse.
While his frustrations in the Cup series are evident, his results in the Busch series should buoy some hope. He is the current NBS point leader and in five races has scored four top tens and never finished worse than 11th.
"There's never been a confidence factor," said Harvick of his Cup ride. "I feel like I can drive just as good as anybody in the series. Our cars have run well this year. We're just in a slump. We haven't had anything go right. We had a great car at Daytona. We had to change a carburetor in the middle of the race in California and it was probably the only bad decision we've made. Other than that, we've run good and that's all you can ask for. I don't feel like there's anybody that sits in the car that's any better than I am."
Although Harvick's team has yet to enjoy the resurgence RCR is having this season, Harvick does feel that they are close to breaking free of the bad mojo that has enveloped this team. Teammates Clint Bowyer and Jeff Burton are enjoying great success this year, with Bowyer in the championship top ten and Burton just five points out in 11th. Meanwhile, Harvick sits 23rd.
"I think we're all better," said Harvick of the RCR organization. "We all run good week in and week out. That's been one of the best things is to have three teams that are running good. It's like last week at Atlanta, we were off on a different path and went over to the 31 and the 07 and basically put there set-ups in our car for qualifying and picked up almost a second from practice to qualifying. It's good to have that. In order to make those two teams better, it made our team weaker.
"Scott Miller leaving our team definitely made our team weaker. Losing our engineer and leaving Todd (Berrier) something to balance stuff off of, we're still looking for that right person. We've got a great race team. All three teams are running good. We just need a little bit of luck to go along with our fast cars. I'm happy with the performance of everything we've done so far."
Despite what everyone is stirring into the silly season pot, Harvick remains reticent that he has made no decision regarding his plans for next season.
"Obviously with Toyota coming in, there's a lot of speculation of what's going on," Harvick explained. "It makes you feel good that everybody is talking about what you want to do or what you should do. I'm being dead honest here, I've stayed as much out of all this stuff as I could and left it up to everybody else outside of it.
"Obviously they're (Toyota) going to bring a new perspective to the sport with their brand and their competitive nature. It's something everybody is talking about. As far as courting me, I don't what would fall into that category. Everything up to this point is speculation of what's happening. Right now there's nothing done or nothing happening anywhere from any manufacturer or anything."
Whether Harvick remains as driver of the Goodwrench car or moves on to some other ride where his at is pretty clear: getting back into Victory Lane. There is no better time for him; Harvick's last win came at this race in 2005.