Car number: 29 • Manufacturer: Chevy • Sponsor: Reese's/Shell Oil
Owner: Richard Childress
• Team: Richard Childress Racing
• Crew Chief: Todd Berrier
Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images
Final Points Standing
After First 26 Races
Lead Lap Finishes
2007 Spin After the wildly successful season Kevin Harvick enjoyed in 2006, he can't wait for Speedweeks in February. With a new contract in hand, Harvick's confidence and performance were at an all-time high. And that's saying something.
The strength of the organization as a whole helped Harvick reaffirm his position as one of NASCAR's brightest talents. Richard Childress finally has the right combination of talent in his stable of drivers. Harvick, Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer are the perfect cross-section of drivers on the circuit today.
Childress has Burton, the crafty veteran and driver spokesman; Harvick, the self-assured hot shoe in his prime; and Bowyer, the rookie with a promising future and able tutors. The on-track performance of these three put RCR back on the map and proved the future is once again bright for this once-great organization.
Expect Harvick to make a run back into the Chase in 2007. The five wins he earned in '06 may be the ceiling for this group, but it'll do.
Childress has accepted the Car of Tomorrow, so we don't see too much of a problem with it within the organization. He claims to be in the process of building 21 COTs and should have them ready to go at Bristol in March.
Regardless, Harvick is a wheelman who should slide into the new shell. Actually, he seems to be chomping at the bit to get it out in race conditions.
The one issue to watch with Harvick is his temperament. When he gets down, he has a tendency to become counter-productive and hard to deal with. He's a throwback racer in a lot of ways, which can be a good thing. If Childress can keep things rolling along, cutting down on the edgy setups that ruined a few RCR afternoons last year, Harvick will once again prosper.
2006 Recap The underlying story of Kevin Harvick's season centered around the re-emergence of Richard Childress Racing. With RCR back in the elite division of Nextel Cup racing, Harvick enjoyed his finest season to date. The sixth-year driver won five races, recorded 20 top 10s and finished fourth in Nextel Cup points. At the same time, he ran a full Busch schedule, walking away with the title by a record margin and racking up nine wins and 32 top 10s in 35 events.
The contract extension Harvick signed with RCR, at a time when it appeared the organization would lose him to Toyota, was a difference-maker as well. He signed on the dotted line in the first week of May and scored a deal that will keep him with RCR through 2009.
Harvick got white-hot in the second half of the regular season, averaging a 6.5-place finish from Daytona in July to Richmond.
After his win at New Hampshire in the Chase's first race, the team slumped. Averaging an 18.5-place finish from Dover to Atlanta killed any shot the team had at a title. Harvick finished strong, however, racking up thee top 5s - with a win in Phoenix - to conclude the season.
• The Good: Kevin Harvick's three-wide pass of lead lappers Jeff Burton and Denny Hamlin at New Hampshire, in a race he won, reminded us why we still watch Nextel Cup racing. Although he seemed embarrassed by making such a risky move so early, it sure was fun to watch.
• The Bad: Harvick dominated the May Richmond event, leading 272 laps before he lost the handle late and finished third.
• The Ugly: Harvick struggled at Atlanta during the Chase. The team missed the setup, finished 31st and dropped from second to sixth in the standings.