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SBD/November 12, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship
Sources: Kevin Harvick To Leave RCR For Stewart-Haas After '13 NASCAR Season
Published November 12, 2012
BUDWEISER ON THE MOVE? In Charlotte, Jim Utter reported the Budweiser sponsorship on the No. 29 car "may well move with Harvick to SHR." The sponsor's current deal concludes at the end of the '13 season, and sources said that Budweiser "would be open to continuing its relationship with the driver" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 11/10). ESPN’s Ray Evernham said the “biggest impact" for RCR with Harvick leaving “will be what the sponsorship does, how that works with Kevin and whether it stays at RCR or not” ("NASCAR Now," ESPN2, 11/11). ESPN.com's David Newton wrote Harvick's departure "will be huge, particularly if he takes primary sponsor Budweiser with him." RCR after the '11 season lost driver Clint Bowyer to Michael Waltrip Racing "due to lack of sponsorship and had to shrink from four to three teams" (ESPN.com, 11/9).
RELATIONSHIP STATUS: The CHARLOTTE OBSERVER's Utter wrote Harvick will be "for all intents and purposes, a 'lame duck' driver in 2013." Utter: "One wonders how well that will go over for RCR in general and in particular its sponsor line and future plans. Certainly we have seen situations like this in the past. Inevitably, there ends up one common denominator -- in almost all cases the driver involved ends up leaving early" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 11/11). ESPN’s Ricky Craven said he did not think Harvick and Childress “could work through 2013 under these circumstances." Craven: "Kevin’s too emotional, Richard’s at a point in life where he’s not very tolerant. Recipe for disaster” (“NASCAR Now,” ESPN2, 11/11). But ESPN.com's Newton wrote Harvick and Childress "appeared on good terms" following Harvick's win yesterday in the Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix Int'l Raceway. Childress "put his arm around race-winner Harvick during his postrace interview." Harvick said he and Childress "will always be friends." Harvick: "We still have a lot of racing left to do and we owe it to our sponsors and our company to go out and do exactly what we did today, and be men and do the best we can for everybody." Childress said, "We look to everybody in '13 to go win a championship, and whatever happens, happens. It's a business decision. This is a business sport" (ESPN.com, 11/11).