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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.



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Kevin Harvick and Richard Childress [Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS finished 7th Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Earnhardt Jr. is 4th, Gordon is 1st in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammate Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS won. (Photo Credit: HHP/Alan Marler for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS finished 1st, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS finished 37th Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick  is 22nd, Kahne is 23rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd.(Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS celebrates his win Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd. (Photo Credit: HHP/Tami Kelly-Pope for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS celebrates his win Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd. (Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the #17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford tangle during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, lead the field to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway on April 11, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina.  (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway on April 11, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway on April 11, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, leads the field to start the NASCAR Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway on April 11, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS won the Pole position Friday, April 11, 2014 for Saturday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 26th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo Credit: HHP/Tami Kelly-Pope for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick (Photo Credit: NASCAR)

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