Friday, May 25, 2018
Sports

Harvick seals NASCAR Sprint Cup deal with Stewart-Haas

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,' " he said.

More like a new team.

So Harvick is making his long-awaited move to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014 — and taking his Budweiser sponsorship with him. Harvick will have the brewing company on the No. 4 Chevrolet as the primary sponsor for 20 Sprint Cup races in 2014.

"It was just me needing to rejuvenate myself," Harvick, 37, said Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Harvick's move had been brewing since he made the decision last year to bolt RCR, which hired him in 1999.

He will replace Ryan Newman at SHR after this season. Harvick joins co-owner Tony Stewart and Danica Patrick as drivers.

"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."

Stewart told Newman on Wednesday night that he was out.

"I do not know what my future holds. I have no idea," said Newman, 35, who has three wins in five seasons at SHR. "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."

Sprint Cup qualifying: Brad Kese­lowski turned a lap of 135.922 mph to set a track record and earn the pole for Sunday's Camping World 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. Nine drivers topped the record held by Newman, who went 135.232 in 2011. Jimmie Johnson had the second-best speed but his car failed inspection because both sides of the front of his No. 48 Chevrolet were too low. He'll start in the rear, in 43rd. Kurt Busch (135.835 mph) will start second instead. Only 43 cars tried to qualify so Morgan Shepherd, 71, made the field and will be the oldest driver to start a Sprint Cup race.

IndyCar: Dario Franchitti earned the pole with a lap of 59.6756 seconds for today's Honda Indy Toronto race, the first of a weekend doubleheader, with St. Petersburg resident Sebastien Bourdais (59.7701) second. Today's race will have a standing start, a first for IndyCar; Sunday's race will use a normal rolling start.

Comments
FSU football fans: How do you remember Jimbo Fisher?

FSU football fans: How do you remember Jimbo Fisher?

Former Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher should be back in the state next week for the SEC's spring meetings in Destin. It is, to my knowledge, his first big trip back to Florida since leaving for Texas A&M in December.With that in mind, my questi...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Alex Cobb excited about return “home” to Trop even in Orioles orange

Alex Cobb excited about return “home” to Trop even in Orioles orange

RHP Alex Cobb has already pitched twice against his former Rays mates in Baltimore and said it didn't feel that weird, especially since there were so many new faces in the lineup.But coming back to the Trop, where he made his big-league debut and spe...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Willy Adames goes back to AAA, leaving Rays with “a lot to be excited about’

Willy Adames goes back to AAA, leaving Rays with “a lot to be excited about’

Willy Adames' first stint in the major leagues ended as planned Thursday night when he was optioned back to Triple-A Durham at the end of his planned three-game cameo filling in for new father Joey Wendle.Adames said going back down was "tough" even ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Steve Yzerman’s summer plans: Make the Lightning better

Steve Yzerman’s summer plans: Make the Lightning better

TAMPA — Captain Steven Stamkos said the Lightning's window for contending for a Stanley Cup championship is not closing."I think it's wide open," he said one day after the Lightning lost Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final to the Capitals.Ge...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Indianapolis 500: How Danica Patrick changed racing

Indianapolis 500: How Danica Patrick changed racing

Tampa's Carlie Yent was at a racing banquet a few years ago when someone asked her to name the driver who influenced her the most.The answer was easy and obvious: Danica Patrick."She was someone I could look up to," Yent said, "and she was the most i...
Updated: 6 hours ago
After Danica Patrick, why aren’t there more women in auto racing?

After Danica Patrick, why aren’t there more women in auto racing?

If you assumed Danica Patrick's success would lead to a tidal wave of female drivers into racing's top series, you're not alone."I kind of thought the Danica thing would bring out a lot of people, honestly," said Tampa's Megan Rae Meyer, a 21-year-ol...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Calvary Christian’s record win streak ends in state final

Calvary Christian’s record win streak ends in state final

FORT MYERS — One of the most impressive streaks in high school baseball came to an end early Friday morning.Calvary Christian lost the Class 4A state championship 5-1 to Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian at Hammond Stadium in a game that ended ...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Rays journal: Blake Snell, flying Denard Span finally solve Red Sox

Rays journal: Blake Snell, flying Denard Span finally solve Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG — Having lost two straight and nine of 12 times overall to the Red Sox, the Rays needed two things to go right Thursday:First, a strong start from Blake Snell.Second, some early runs against Rick Porcello from an offense that had...
Published: 05/24/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Thursday’s Rays-Red Sox game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Thursday’s Rays-Red Sox game

Home cooking clearly agrees with OF Denard Span. The 34-year-old Tampa product continues to deliver, producing at the plate, running the bases, making diving catches in the outfield, and Thursday, even going over the short sidewall twice in hot pursu...
Published: 05/24/18
Bucs’ Ali Marpet: NFL flip-flopping on anthem policy ‘a little bit odd’

Bucs’ Ali Marpet: NFL flip-flopping on anthem policy ‘a little bit odd’

TAMPA — This much is clear: The National Football League is focused on getting rid of kneeling players.That was the league's announcement Wednesday in requiring players to stand during the national anthem before games or possibly have their tea...
Published: 05/24/18