Kevin Harvick signs long-term with RCR
Richard Childress, owner of RCR, and driver Kevin Harvick (#29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevy) held a press conference to announce a multi-year contract extension between RCR and Harvick, and discussed various elements of their agreement. Full Transcript:
MODERATOR: "Thank you all for coming today, I am the Director of Communications for Richard Childress Racing and we have a very important announcement for the present and future of RCR. As some of you may have seen on a Twitter post or somewhere else, RCR and Kevin Harvick have agreed to a multi-year contract extension for Kevin to continue in the RCR No. 29 Chevrolet Sprint Cup Series car. As I said, multi-year agreement, no we aren't going to tell you the exact years and all of that good stuff. At this time I would like to turn it over to Richard Childress. Richard, if you would, tell the folks where things stand right now and your thoughts on Kevin continuing on now well past a decade at RCR."
CHILDRESS: "We're very excited to have Kevin back. He has written a lot of history for RCR. He stepped in the car when we lost Dale in 2001 and I don't know of any driver that could have stepped in there under the pressure and handled it the way he did. We'll always be grateful. To have him come back and re-sign again, we're excited about it. I know there will be questions about sponsors. We have three or four companies that we are dealing with right now and hopefully in the very near future, we'll have something to announce there. But the key thing is to have Kevin back. He is a top driver in this Series and to have him in our group of drivers is just unbelievable and we are glad to have him back."
Q: Are you at the point now you anticipate finishing your driving career with RCR?
HARVICK: "Well, you never know how things are going to shake out but obviously I don't think the sport has created, with the time and commitment and things that it takes to be competitive, I don't see myself racing until I am 50 years old. Whether it is one more contract or two more contracts, nobody knows. But right now there are a lot of years in front of us with this one. The way that we started and hopefully we can end that way and continue that going forward."
on the sponsorship, the economy looks like it’s trying to turn around some.
Q: Have you noticed more companies willing to talk to you about major sponsorship deals? It is a little but brighter now?
CHILDRESS: "Yes, for sure. Our marketing department has been talking to some new companies that's not in the sport right now that have a lot of interest. Our sport, with the Hall of Fame opening, a lot of things with racing has been really great this year and the country is still in an economy downturn a little bit, but it looks like its leveling and moving in the right direction. And I think our sport is strong enough with all the people and the companies we have in it. And the companies that are looking to get into the sport today gives us bright hope."
In your decision-making, did you ever contemplate being a driver/owner for KHI?
HARVICK: "No. We've talked about this a lot before. It's not something that I have the desire to sit and make those decisions over $15 or $20 million or whatever decisions are; you've got to have too much money in this day and age to start a company. The RCR's of the world have that backbone and have already made those investments on the parts and pieces and the tools necessary to be competitive in the sport. It's not something I was really looking for as a challenge."