Kevin Harvick is set to stay at Richard Childress Racing next year despite their poor 2009 season together, the team announced Monday.
Harvick is having his worst season ever in NASCAR's top series, ranking 24th in the championship with a second place at the season opener at Daytona as his best result, besides winning the non-points Budweiser Shootout a week before that.
It had been rumored that the 33-year-old had asked out of his contract for next year, but on Monday evening Richard Childress Racing confirmed the 2007 Daytona 500 winner will stay with the team for a 10th consecutive season.
"Rumors about Kevin not driving for RCR next season have been flying around the garage area and in the media," said Richard Childress. "We want to put the rumors behind us by stating together that Kevin will drive RCR's No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet Impala SS for the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.
"RCR continues to work on the overall performance of the No. 29 team, like we are with all of our teams, and the plan is to end the season on a high note. Kevin and the No. 29 team are also preparing for next season with the goal of making a run at the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship."
Harvick was in contention for the Sprint Cup title for the past three years, but this season it is almost certain that none of his teammates will be in the Chase. During the season, RCR officials swapped crews between Harvick's and Casey Mears's teams in hope of turning their fortunes around, but the switch didn't bring any tangible results. The two-time Nationwide Series champion expects that his and the team's fortunes will improve in 2010.
"While the 2009 season has not been what any of us have wanted, Richard and I are both committed to improving the performance of the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil team for the remainder of this year and the 2010 season," said Harvick.
Harvick is currently the worst-placed RCR driver in the Sprint Cup drivers standings and has led only nine laps during the year. In nine seasons at the wheel of the No. 29 car, he has claimed 11 wins, and in 2007 he also took victory in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race.