News & Media


Childress says ' nothing set in stone' on 29 team

November 18, 2011, Joe Menzer, NASCAR.com

HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Owner, Harvick agree on the need to reevaluate, but not until after the Chase

After a promising season turned sour, especially for Kevin Harvick's team during the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup, changes are on the horizon for Richard Childress Racing.

Richard Childress, owner of RCR, confirmed Friday that changes are imminent within his organization but cautioned that reports regarding Gil Martin being out as Harvick's crew chief were premature. Childress said he could not yet comment on any possible changes that will be made within any of his other Sprint Cup teams, insisting that many personnel decisions have yet to be made.

"Nothing is set in stone yet. Nothing is 100 percent for sure until next Tuesday. That's when we're going to sit down and reevaluate everything," Childress said.

"There will be changes made. You can count on that."

--RICHARD CHILDRESS


_______________________

"If we sit on our hands and don't evaluate everybody's position at this particular point, I think we'd be fools. I would anticipate some changes, yes."

--KEVIN HARVICK

"But there will be changes made. You can count on that."

Asked specifically if Martin is out as Harvick's crew chief: "Nothing is 100 percent yet. And that's the truth."

In addition to Harvick's No. 29 Chevrolet, RCR also fields the No. 31 driven by Jeff Burton, the No. 27 driven by Paul Menard and the No. 33 driven by Clint Bowyer -- at least through this Sunday's 2011 season finale Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Then the Bowyer car will go away, at least as a full-time ride. Bowyer already has signed to drive for Michael Waltrip Racing beginning next season. Childress said in an earlier interview that he may field a fourth Cup car occasionally in 2012 for his grandson, Austin Dillon, but stressed then that he wants Dillon to concentrate almost exclusively on what will be Dillon's first full-time season in the Nationwide Series.

Harvick began the 10-race Chase as a top seed along with Kyle Busch, based on the fact that each driver won four races this season. The No. 29 team opened the Chase with a second-place finish at Chicagoland Speedway and added two sixths and a 10th-place finish over three of the next four races to remain in second following the fifth Chase race at Charlotte and heading into Talladega.

That is where disaster struck and Harvick finished 32nd after being involved in a six-car wreck, dropping him to fifth in the points with four races remaining. After rebounding to finish fourth the following week at Martinsville, Harvick struggled to finish 13th at Texas and 19th at Phoenix, respectively.

He enters Sunday's race at Homestead third in the points, but already mathematically eliminated from the hunt for a championship.

"It's been a fair season," Harvick said Friday. "Obviously we did a lot of things good and we did some things bad. We've got to work on things to make some things a little bit better.

"In this sport or any other sport, you always have things that you think you did right and things that you know you did wrong that you have to address at some point."

Harvick was the only RCR driver to make the Chase, with Menard and Bowyer the only other RCR drivers to win a race. Heading into Homestead, Bowyer was 13th in points, Menard was 18th and Burton was 22nd.

Harvick acknowledged Friday that he expects changes to be made within his team and to all teams at RCR, which will be bringing his Kevin Harvick Inc. Nationwide Series program and a Camping World Truck Series team under its banner beginning, well, as soon as Sunday's finale is history.

"There are definitely a lot of things happening at RCR, with the one Cup team going away," Harvick said. "We're adding three Nationwide teams and a Truck team, so obviously there are going to be some personnel changes. And I think if we had gone out and won a championship, you'd say you probably don't need to do anything.

"But if we sit on our hands and don't evaluate everybody's position at this particular point, I think we'd be fools. I would anticipate some changes, yes."