Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Kevin Harvick confirms SHR extension, eases Kasey Kahne's mind

CONCORD, N.C. — After announcing a multiyear extension to drive for Stewart-Haas Racing, 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick used much of his media session on Friday at Charlotte Motor Speedway to set the record straight about rumors that had run amok since the announcement earlier this season that SHR would switch from Chevrolet to Ford in 2017.

Harvick said there wasn't a shred of truth to reports he had been contacted by Hendrick Motorsports to replace Kasey Kahne in the No. 5 Chevrolet.

"It got so out of control that I actually went to Kasey Kahne and I said, 'Look man, here's what's going on,'" Harvick said. "And I told him there's not been one person that's called me from your organization, and I want you to have the trust in your team.

Though Harvick has been a Chevrolet driver for his entire 16-year Sprint Cup career, the manufacturer change at Stewart-Haas was not the sort of move that would have caused him to leave the organization.

Kahne confirmed on Twitter that Harvick spoke to him at Phoenix, the third race of the season and two weeks after SHR announced its move to Ford.

"Pretty cool of him," Kahne tweeted.

Though his contract is up this year, Harvick said Stewart-Haas held a two-year option on his services. But SHR went through a complete restructuring of his contract.

Kahne has struggled the last two years and is increasingly being mentioned as a driver that could be on his way out at Hendrick. Knowing Kahne is trying to turn around his results, Harvick thought it would be best to relieve him of an additional pressure.

Harvick on several occasions this season downplayed any discussion that he wanted out at SHR, where he won his first Sprint Cup title in 2014 and was runnerup last year.

Umbrella time: Rain washed out all track activity Friday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, which will now try to cram its All-Star weekend into one day. Steady showers forced NASCAR to postpone the Sprint Showdown and the truck series race.

The Showdown, which will send five drivers not already qualified into the Sprint Cup All-Star Race, was rescheduled for this morning.

The North Carolina Education Lottery 200 trucks race was set for the afternoon. Qualifying was washed out.

The $1 million All-Star Race, which does not count in the Sprint Cup standings, is still scheduled to go off tonight.

The lack of track time Friday could be problematic for many race teams. NASCAR only announced the format for the All-Star Race on May 6, and the rules were not given to teams until earlier this week.

The Sprint Showdown is divided into three segments, and the winner of each segment will advance into the All-Star Race. An additional two drivers will get into the All-Star Race on a fan vote.

The race already has 15 drivers in the field. All drivers who won a race last year are eligible, as well as past All-Star Race winners Tony Stewart, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman and Kasey Kahne.

NASCAR this week updated the rules package to reduce downforce and side force for the All-Star Race. The idea is to reduce the speed in the corners in an effort to promote more passing. Drivers like less downforce because it puts the control of the car in their hands and allows the talent to rise.

All-Star format

The format for today's Sprint Cup All-Star Race (9 p.m., FS1, 102.5-FM) as well as the Sprint Showdown (11 a.m., FS1) at Charlotte Motor Speedway:

All-Star Race: There are three segments — 50, 50, then 13 laps on the 11/2-mile track. In the second segment drivers must make a green flag pit stop and change at least two tires. After the second segment a draw will determine whether the top nine, 10 or 11 cars will make a mandatory four-tire pit stop before the final segment. All 2015 race winners, former series champions and former All-Star race winners. There are 15 drivers already in for the 20-car field. The other five spots will be determined in the …

Showdown: All other drivers enter here, in segments of 20, 20 then 10 laps. Each segment winner makes the All-Star race; fan voting will determine the remaining spots.

Kevin Harvick confirms SHR extension, eases Kasey Kahne's mind 05/20/16 [Last modified: Friday, May 20, 2016 10:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Storm routs Cleveland


    TAMPA — Alvin Ray Jackson intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown, and recovered two fumbles as the Storm routed Cleveland 57-27 Saturday night in its home regular-season finale at Amalie Arena.

  2. Miscue sends Rays to another stinging loss to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays gave away DJ Kitty onesies Saturday night. Then they gave away the game.

    Rays centerfielder Mallex Smith misses a drive hit by Adrian Beltre with two outs in the sixth, allowing the tying runs to score. Beltre puts Texas ahead 4-3 when he scores after two wild pitches.
  3. Rowdies shut out Charleston


    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rowdies know a thing or two about stalemates, with five of their past 10 games ending in a draw.

    Rowdies in the first half during the game between Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Charleston Battery at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday, Jul 22, 2017.
  4. Rays journal: Former closer Sergio Romo acquired from Dodgers

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays made a move to help the bullpen Saturday night when they acquired RHP Sergio Romo, who had been designated for assignment last week by the Dodgers.

    Reliever Sergio Romo has 84 career saves, including 38 in 2013, but has struggled this season with the Dodgers, posting a 6.12 ERA in 25 innings before being designated for assignment.
  5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. backs wife's "not worth risk'' opinion on Daytona

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Saturday defended his wife's Twitter post — and blamed himself for putting her in a position where she believed she had to speak out and upset some of his fans.

    Amy Earnhardt worries about Dale Jr.’s concussions.