From the moment Tony Stewart announced that Stewart-Haas Racing was switching to Ford, NASCAR’s Chevrolet fans (which make up 75 percent of all NASCAR fans in my estimation) went into a panic. Harvick wouldn’t leave Chevrolet. He would look for another ride. He would replace Kasey Kahne at Hendrick Motorsports. Through it all, Harvick was firm that he was staying at what he called, “the best situation I’ve ever been in,” but long-time Chevrolet fans wouldn’t believe that. You have to wonder why.
In February, it was written that he (Harvick) said that to not be committed to his team would be foolish. In March, Harvick basically said that he was in the best position of his career and he wouldn’t walk out on his team. In April, he said there was nothing to talk about because he was in the best organization that could possibly be. It doesn’t sound like a man on the move to me. Yet, the rumors were still there and an article on Monday fanned the flames again, saying he would be leaving for Hendrick Motorsports next year. Three days later Stewart-Haas announced a multi-year extension for Harvick. Yes, he would be in a Ford Fusion in 2017 and beyond.
What happened? Harvick was staying at Stewart-Haas all along. Harvick made it clear from the time of the announcement that his commitment to Stewart-Haas was strong, but the fan base couldn’t fathom him in anything but a Chevy, and the disbelief kept the rumor alive. There also aren’t any open, or about to be open, good teams for him to join. Kahne has had a rough season but is under contract with Hendrick. He’s also a very talented driver. Could he have gone other places? Either the team was not strong enough or not as strong as where Harvick already was. The four-car rule and the Charter system really gave Harvick no options, but why wouldn’t he stay? He was a championship contender from the minute he got in the No. 4. How many drivers can say that today?
So, with that rumor blown out of the water, we can get back to racing. The dominant team this year has been Joe Gibbs Racing and his pirated drivers Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards. Hey didn’t they change manufacturers? They were Ford guys, but that isn’t the same, I guess. What is the same continues to be the great competition in the Sprint Cup Series. Let’s concentrate on that, shall we?