LOUDON, N.H. — NASCAR fans finally know whats on tap for Kevin Harvick next season: He will still drive a Budweiser-adorned car in the Sprint Cup Series.
Reports surfaced late last season Harvick would move to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014 but Friday was the first time Harvick and team co-owner Tony Stewart confirmed the news, including Budweisers decision to continue sponsoring Harvick at SHR.
At this years preseason media tour, Harvick admitted he was leaving RCR where he has spent his entire Sprint Cup Series career but had been unwilling to say where he was headed.
Harvicks said his main objective is to make the most out of his present situation and to compete for the series championship. Hell start 19th in Sundays Camping World 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
I think everybody has kind of latched onto the message that were going to go out and were going to race every week as hard as we can, said Harvick, who is fourth in the series standings with two wins this season.
I was sitting in a competition meeting for the Chase with (competition director) Eric Warren on Wednesday morning, so its not like weve detached ourselves from what were doing. And those guys on the team, they dont care about the politics of the sport, they just want to win races.
They like spraying beer in Victory Lane and as a group were going to do that until we get to Homestead.
Harvick will drive the No. 4 Chevrolet at SHR next season and will be sponsored in 20 races by Budweiser the same sponsorship commitment he has from the company this season at RCR.
SHR still needs to secure sponsorship for 18 other races to fully cover Harvicks car.
Harvick said there was no sponsor commitment in place when he agreed to leave RCR.
We went to the team at SHR, we worked out my contract and they basically guaranteed what the car would have on it on the race track and they basically took full responsibility to figure out what direction they wanted to go from a sponsorship standpoint and how to make it go around, he said.
Stewart said he was excited about Harvick joining the organization.
It was a lot of work to get this done, said Stewart, who has run several Nationwide series races for Harvicks Kevin Harvick Inc. organization in the past.
It started two years ago, I guess, was the thought process of hiring another driver. We just went through those steps, obviously, to get where we are today.
Outside his debut in the Truck series, Harvicks entire Cup and Nationwide careers have been spent at RCR.
Making a change wasnt easy, Harvick said, but was needed from a personal standpoint.
For me, the situation with Tony (Stewart) and having that relationship with a guy that is going to be sitting in the cars next to you and having that kind of teammate that has won championships and a team that has won championships in the last couple of years is something that is just exciting, Harvick said.
Then you add in the Hendrick (Motorsports) support side of it and there is a lot to draw from. It wasnt anything personal. It was just me needing to rejuvenate myself.
Just like everybody elses job, sometimes you just need a change to get going again.