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RCR absorbs KHI Nationwide operation

Richard Childress Racing has announced that it is merging its Nationwide operation with that of Kevin Harvick, Inc. for 2012, with Harvick's Truck team still in doubt.
Richard Childress Racing announced on Wednesday that they are to merge operations in the Nationwide Series with Kevin Harvick, Inc. and that they will run a combined operation from the start of next season.

Under the deal, Elliott Sadler will retain the seat of the #2 car currently fielded by KHI, while a variety of RCR drivers will have outings in the #33 car. It's thought that the merger of RCR and KHI might also allow Childress to run a third Nationwide car for his grandson, current Camping World Truck Series driver Austin Dillon.

RCR stressed that Kevin Harvick and his wife DeLana who co-managed the team "will still be very active" in the Nationwide program, which will be run out of RCR's North Carolina base. Harvick won the Nationwide Series in 2001 for RCR, and Childress has delivered the technical support for KHI since it opened up in 2004. RCR had reduced its participation in Nationwide this season in favour of backing KHI's efforts.

"A few years ago, Richard Childress Racing moved its NASCAR Nationwide Series efforts to Kevin Harvick Inc. to assist KHI in strengthening its overall program," said Childress in a press statement. "When Kevin and DeLana decided they were interested in consolidating operations, it made sense to merge our efforts. RCR is committed to the Nationwide Series as part of our overall team and driver development efforts. This move will continue the close collaborative effort RCR and KHI have enjoyed for the past 10 years."

"DeLana and I are fortunate that Richard has always been supportive of KHI over the last 10 years," said Harvick. “We feel like this merger will benefit our on-track performance as well as provide our sponsors with more opportunity off track," adding that he and his wife were still very "excited about the Nationwide team's new direction."

The announcement puts a huge question mark over the future of KHI's Camping World Truck Series operation, which is not part of the Nationwide merger agreement with RCR.

In response to rumours last week that KHI would pull out of Truck competition, Harvick had simply replied that “The landscape of KHI will not be the same, I can promise you that ... There will definitely be some major changes."

With one shoe having dropped about the Nationwide Series, analysts expect the other show to drop with an announcement in Richmond on Friday - and that the Truck operation may be about to be shuttered.

KHI has won two driver and owner titles in the Truck series with Ron Hornaday since 2006. Hornaday won the last Truck race last week at Atlanta, completing a hattrick of KHI wins in the series with Harvick having won back-to-back victories in the preceding events.



Related Pictures

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Kevin Harvick and Richard Childress [Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, pits along with the rest of the field during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Panasonic Chevrolet, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on August 31, 2014 in Bowmanville, Canada. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250 on August 31, 2014 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, and German Quiroga, driver of the #77 OtterBox Toyota, take the chequered flag during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250 on August 31, 2014 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, races during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250 on August 31, 2014 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Alex Tagliani, driver of the #19 Reese Towpower Ford, leads the field at the start of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250 on August 31, 2014 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 30, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 30, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 30, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 30, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet, races Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ford, during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 30, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet, takes the green flag waved by Evander Holyfield to start the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 30, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, won the Pole position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. It was Harvick`s sixth pole win of the 2014 season. He is 7th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 29, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick (L), driver of the #5 Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet, talks to Regan Smith, driver of the #7 TaxSlayer Bowl Chevrolet, in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 29, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Paul Menard, driver of the #27 Serta/Menards Chevrolet SS, finished ninth and Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Great Stuff Chevrolet SS, finished 28th Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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