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Childress Racing teams with AOL

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Childress Racing teams with AOL
Feb 15, 2001, 11:45 PM

Richard Childress Racing and America Online have teamed up for seven Winston Cup races in 2001. AOL will be the primary sponsor on a 2001 Chevrolet Monte Carlo driven by last year's Busch Grand National Series Rookie of the Year Kevin Harvick.

Richard Childress Racing and America Online have teamed up for seven Winston Cup races in 2001. AOL will be the primary sponsor on a 2001 Chevrolet Monte Carlo driven by last year's Busch Grand National Series Rookie of the Year Kevin Harvick. Harvick, 25 will debut the Number 30 car at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 11 and compete at Texas Motor Speedway, the Spring race at Lowe's Motor Speedway (Charlotte), Sears Point Raceway, ChicagoLand Speedway, the night race at Bristol, and the Fall race at Richmond.

With AOL sponsorship, Harvick will move up to Winston Cup full time in 2002. His contract with Childress and AOL is for two more additional years. He plans to compete the full Busch Grand National Series in 2001 in the Number 2 ACDelco Chevrolet and is very optimistic about his chances to win the championship. "In our rookie year in the series, we wound up third in the points with three victories, two poles, and 16 top 10 finishes. This is an extraordinary race team which has worked hard over the winter to get ready for this season.

The new race team will be Childress' third Winston Cup program, along with Dale Earnhardt and Mike Skinner, and his fifth overall--Harvick's and Mike Dillon's Busch teams. It will be run out of the RCR shops in Welcome, North Carolina. Harvick said that he was selling his home at Lake Norman and moving to Welcome to be closer to the team. He is also getting married in the next couple of months and introduced his fiance at the press conference.

Harvick is a native of Bakersfield, California, home of Indy Car star Rick Mears and his brother, off road standout Roger. "I grew up with Clint and Casey Mears and we all started out together racing go karts as kids. I always wanted to race open wheel cars, but my dad was worried about my getting injured and steered me toward stock cars. I still see Clint and Casey when I am home and we compare notes about our careers. I am really glad to see Casey get a good ride in IRL this year."

America Online is in the fourth year of its sponsorship of Andy Belmont's Ford Taurus racing program in the ARCA series. AOL spokesman Chris Geisert said, 'We intend to continue our support of Andy Belmont's racing program and are already talking to him about expanding our participation. Racing is an excellent way to reach a huge potential audience, and we are very encouraged by our experience so far."

Richard Childress employs nearly 200 people in his racing programs and has won Winston Cup championships with Earnhardt and a Craftsman Truck Series title with Skinner. In assessing Harvick's future in racing, Childress said, "Kevin is not the next Dale Earnhardt or Mike Skinner, he is the next Kevin Harvick. With America Online sponsorship and support, I expect to see him win the Winston Cup in the near future."

-Rich Romer

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