Kevin Harvick announced Friday at Richmond that he would no longer field his Kevin Harvick Inc. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team – which has won 39 races and two series championships – after this year. The move is part of a scaling-down of KHI that will also include selling the shop facility and equipment, following KHI's shift of Nationwide efforts to Richard Childress Racing, for whom Harvick drives in the Sprint Cup Series.
Harvick fields two full-time Truck teams, for drivers Nelson Piquet Jr. and Ron Hornaday Jr., as well as a third entry that runs part-time. Hornaday has won two of his four Truck titles under the KHI banner.
"It's been a great run," Harvick said in announcing the move. "Obviously, one of the hardest conversations I've had to have was with Ron, telling him where everything was going. He was a big part of helping us get to the point that we're at today.
"It's fun, don't get me wrong. It's fun to go out and win Truck races and be a part of it. We've been able to win championships. It's not like we're struggling to get by, or there's no sponsorship, or we're not winning any races. In the end – and this is no knock on anything, but really the only thing I want to do that we haven't been able to accomplish in my career is win the Cup championship. Cup cars make it all go around. Richard [Childress] and I have talked about this a lot. Without the Cup cars being successful on Sunday, or Saturday night or whatever the case may be, Trucks don't exist, Nationwide cars don't exist, and sponsors aren't there. That Cup championship is what we're after."
Earlier this week, Harvick announced that KHIs two-car Nationwide efforts would be shifted to RCR, reversing a move the two operations made in consolidating under one roof at KHI prior to this season. The reason, Harvick said, is that Nationwide cars are more similar to Sprint Cup cars today in areas like tires, parts, and inspection, and utilizing RCR's Sprint Cup knowledge in building them simply made too much sense. The finalization and roll out of the merged Nationwide programs was the reason Harvick was unable to attend the NASCAR function at the White House on Wednesday.
As a result, KHI will be scaled back to a company that primarily runs Harvick's personal business, fan club, website, and other non-racing matters. The equipment and the shop, Harvick said, will be sold. KHI employs 140 people, who were informed of the news Wednesday afternoon. Harvick is hopeful that many of them will find jobs in RCR's expanded Nationwide program, in which Harvick will retain an interest. Harvick said the move will allow him more time to spend with his Sprint Cup car and with sponsors, remove some ownership pressures, and allow him extra free time.
"There are some normal things you can do in life, I hear," he joked. "Hopefully, we can experience some of those."