Harvick keeps Budweiser sponsorship, will drive No. 4 Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas

  • Article by: DAN GELSTON , AP Sports Writer
  • Updated: July 12, 2013 - 2:30 PM

LOUDON, N.H. — Kevin Harvick was stuck in a rut after so many empty seasons chasing a championship with Richard Childress Racing.

"When you show up to the same desk for 12 or 13 years, you're like, 'Man, I need a new desk,'" Harvick said.

More like a new team.

So Harvick will swap the car, get a new work address, even change his number.

Just toss him a cooler — he's keeping the beer.

Harvick will take his Budweiser sponsorship with him when he makes his long-awaited move to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014. Harvick will have Budweiser on the No. 4 Chevrolet as the primary sponsor for 20 races in 2014.

"It was just me needing to rejuvenate myself," Harvick said Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Harvick's move had been brewing since he made the decision last year to bolt the RCR team that hired him in 1999. He's made the most of his lame duck season, with two wins and eight straight top-10s in the No. 29 to park him in fourth place in the points standings.

For many reasons, including a close friendship with Tony Stewart, Harvick is set to move on.

So is Ryan Newman.

Harvick's arrival means one driver in the SHR stable had to go. Newman's time is up after this season. Stewart, Harvick and Danica Patrick will drive the SHR entries next season.

"We're not ready to expand to a fourth team," Stewart said. "That's what's made this a bittersweet day. I'm bringing in another one of my friends to the organization, also knowing that I'm losing a friend at the end of the year. ... This was a business decision."

Newman has won three Cup races in five seasons with SHR after leaving Penske Racing following the 2008 season. Stewart told Newman in a 20-minute conversation Wednesday night that he was out.

"I do not know what my future holds. I have no idea," Newman said. "That's something that weighs on my shoulders. I have a little homework to do. I can't say I'm happy with how everything unfolded."

Newman, 16th in the points race, could fill the empty seat at RCR. Kurt Busch, who drives for Furniture Row Racing, is a potential candidate along with Childress' grandson, Austin Dillon. Childress has Paul Menard and Jeff Burton under contract. He could just replace Harvick or add a fourth car.

Busch, whose team has a technical alliance with RCR, simply said he has "irons in the fire" for next season.

Childress is openly grooming his organization for his grandsons, Austin and Ty Dillon, who are currently competing in NASCAR's lower national levels.

Harvick and Patrick are attractive to SHR because they bring the guaranteed sponsorship dollars needed to fund rides in the Cup series. Budweiser also will sponsor Harvick at the Budweiser Duel during Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway. Budweiser will serve as a major associate sponsor for the remaining races on the Sprint Cup Series schedule. Harvick did not know if sponsors Jimmy John's and Rheem would join him at SHR.

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