AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) – Kevin Harvick and Ryan Newman will be switching places after this season.
Before they do, there’s a couple more races they’d like to win.
A year ago at Phoenix International Raceway, word leaked that Harvick was leaving Richard Childress Racing for Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014. That left out Newman, who later signed with RCR for next season.
The two drivers will race for their old teams this weekend in Phoenix and in the Sprint Cup finale in Homestead before moving on to their new teams.
“Richard and I were talking about it last week, just about things that we’ve been able to accomplish and do _ and win _ and situations we’ve been through,” Harvick said Friday from PIR. “We had an incident at Martinsville (), but it’s definitely not the hardest situation we’ve been through as owner and driver or friends, or whatever you want to call it. It’s definitely something that we both have been fortunate to have a lot of success and look forward to the next chapter.”
Newman was the odd man out when Stewart-Haas signed Harvick, with owner Tony Stewart saying the team didn’t have enough room for him. SHR later changed its plans and expanded to four cars with Kurt Busch, but Newman doesn’t leave with any ill will.
“It was like a series of books where you’re not finished with one book so you can’t start the next, and in that series of books, you have to get the last chapters over and done in order to get started with the next one,” said Newman, who enters Sunday’s race 12th in the Chase standings. “There’s a part of me that’s excited about the future, no doubt, and getting to that next book, but there’s a part of me that wants to finish out these last couple chapters and do it strong and do it the right way.”
Harvick had no trouble with the distractions last year after word broke that he was leaving RCR.
With Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson battling for the championship, Harvick topped them both, ending a 44-race winless streak by taking the checkers at the odd-shaped mile oval.
“Last year, everything did come out,” said Harvick, third in the Chase standings, 40 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson. “I think a lot of the emotion was pretty calm for the most part. As we got through the year, the performance has been good. We’ve been able to win several races as we’ve gone through the year. I don’t know that anybody really knew what to expect as we went through time.”
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