FYI WIRZ Fast Take By Dwight Drum
Web work by Larsen & Drum Images by Drum
Kevin Harvick's NASCAR Truck Teams Are Fast on Track, Fast for Sale
Kevin Harvick started the NASCAR Camping World Truck series race in the No. 2 JEGS.com Chevrolet in second position this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, but he already snared a winning moment with his Kevin Harvick Inc. business operations before the green flag.
Harvick lined up in second in the F.W. Webb 175 and finished third with teammate Ron Hornaday Jr. behind him in fourth for a solid finish, but an equally solid team story happened the day before.
Eddie Sharp Racing, a one-team operation in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, announced that they acquired a controlling interest in two of Kevin Harvick Inc. NCWTS teams.
ESR purchased the No. 8 and No. 33 KHI truck teams and will operate out of their present 40,000 square-foot facility in Denver, N.C. ESR will field three full-time NCWTS teams in 2012.
"The timing couldn't have been any more perfect," Eddie Sharp said. "We are ready to take this opportunity head-on to utilize what Kevin and DeLana have built. It was a marriage made in heaven, because we were ready to move forward at ESR, and this opportunity worked out perfectly. With KHI, you have a turnkey, successful program at the ready.”
Justin Lofton has signed to drive for one of the ESR truck teams in 2012, but other decisions are in the planning.
"I'm excited about the future of ESR, really excited," Sharp said. "We'll have driver and sponsor lineup announcements coming within the next few weeks. To see everything progress with Kevin and DeLana's help, and the support from Chevrolet, it's a dream come true."
KHI employed about 140 team members, so the news that two of the teams have sold this swiftly is good news for many employees seeking a new position.
Employment options for No. 2 KHI team members interviewed in Atlanta recently; crew chief Bruce Cook, gas man Randy Armstrong, team mechanic Don Tarantino, tire specialist Anthony Alonzo, just expanded by two teams.
This ESR transaction leaves KHI with one team and one building to liquidate or transfer.
Kevin and Delana Harvick aren’t likely done with business yet, so more bright arrangements could develop. Harvick commented about Eddie Sharp taking over two teams.
“With Eddie acquiring the two teams, that’s going to give everybody the opportunity to move forward,” Harvick said. “He’s going to come to the shop and interview people and make sure they fit into his company and want to be a part of his company. Those two teams will be on track. For him it’s a great way to build his company with two teams that are already established, and if he can get the people to go along with him that’s even better.
"All that’s up to him now—for us we’re obviously going a different direction with our lives and business. To have the people have the opportunity to still have jobs and move forward is the part that we’ve been concentrating on at this point–to try to help them.”
Harvick’s long-time friend and KHI champion, Ron Hornaday, is in fifth place back 47 points from Austin Dillon in first. Nelson Piquet Jr. is in 12th position, back 117 points from first. Harvick won three NCWTS races in a row this season.
JEGS.com was the primary sponsor on Harvick’s No. 2 truck at Loudon and honored their commitment with pride. Scott "Woody" Woodruff, JEGS Director of Media and Motorsports, commented.
"New Hampshire will likely be one of, if not the last truck race for Kevin Harvick,” Woodruff said. “And JEGS is along for the ride. Kevin is a competitor on and off the track and will end on a high note.”
Harvick announced the fate of KHI at about the same time Germain Racing decided to shut down the No.9 and No. 62 NCWTS teams in 2012 also. Plenty of talk surfaced about the validity of the series, but within two weeks viability has sprung from rumors. Kyle Busch Motorsports has expressed expansion thoughts also.
The folks at JEGS.com haven’t disclosed 2012 NASCAR plans which is typical of sponsorship strategy five months before the first green flag in 2012. Negotiations are currently under way for many firms seeking the exposure that NASCAR affords.
One factor in play for the NCWTS is that TV viewing numbers have improved for the series this year.
In the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) it’s all about numbers—from the digits on cars, horsepower under hoods, fans in the stands, TV time, dollars in the till and being first across the finish line.
FYI WIRZ is the select presentation of topics by Dwight Drum at Racetake.com.
Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained from official release materials provided by NASCAR and team representatives.
Disclaimer: NASCAR® is a registered trademark owned and controlled by the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. Sprint Cup is a registered trademark. The operators of this site are not affiliated with, endorsed by, or sponsored by the NASCAR organization. The Official NASCAR® website is NASCAR ONLINE® at: www.nascar.com.