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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]
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Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS finishes in sixth place and Paul Menard, driver of the #27 FVP/Menards Chevrolet SS finishes in fourth place Sunday, March 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Kevin Harvick, driver of the #88 taxslayer.com Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Drive4Clots.com 300 at Auto Club Speedway on March 21, 2015 in Fontana, California.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, races during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Drive4Clots.com 300 at Auto Club Speedway on March 21, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #88 taxslayer.com Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR XFINITY Series Drive4Clots.com 300 at Auto Club Speedway on March 21, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #88 taxslayer.com Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Drive4Clots.com 300 at Auto Club Speedway on March 21, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #88 taxslayer.com Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Drive4Clots.com 300 at Auto Club Speedway on March 21, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS qualifies for 2nd position Friday, March 20, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Harvick leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Joining him on the front row will be Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS who won the Pole position. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS celebrates with his team after winning the Pole position Friday, March 20, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Busch is 33rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Joining him on the front row will be Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS won the Pole position Friday, March 20, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Busch is 33rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Joining him on the front row will be Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS celebrates his victory Sunday, March 15, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Speedway in Phoenix, Arizona. This is Harvick`s fourth straight win at Phoenix. (Photo by Gregg Ellman/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS races to victory Sunday, March 15, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Speedway in Phoenix, Arizona. This is Harvick`s fourth straight win at Phoenix. (Photo by Gregg Ellman/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS stops in his pit before victory Sunday, March 15, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Speedway in Phoenix, Arizona. This is Harvick`s fourth straight win at Phoenix. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS crosses the finish line Sunday, March 15, 2015 winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Speedway in Phoenix, Arizona. This is Harvick`s fourth straight win at Phoenix. This is Harvick`s fourth straight win at Phoenix. (Photo by Gregg Ellman/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 NATIONWIDE Chevrolet, is involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CampingWorld.com 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 15, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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