Kevin Harvick has never been one to shy away from controversial encounters during his stint in the ranks of NASCAR. Now, as a lame-duck driver at Richard Childress Racing, he may be a dangerous threat behind the wheel of the No. 29 Chevrolet.
Harvick's departure from RCR has been rumored several times over the years, but the leak during the 2012 season took on a life of its own until it was finally confirmed.
The driver of the Budweiser car for Richard Childress will head to Stewart-Haas Racing for the 2014 season. His primary sponsor looks to be leaving with him as will Jimmy John's.
RCR seemed to just be off-pace with the Cup program this past season for reasons that are difficult to pinpoint. Harvick won the next to last race of the season and finished eighth in points.
The 2013 season will no doubt see some changes within the organization that should make them more competitive once again, but their hottest driver will be Harvick.
He has nothing to lose and everything to gain by putting maximum effort into going for the series title during his final year at RCR.
Harvick is never one to lay down, and this may be the time for him to give his boss a long-overdue NASCAR Sprint Cup title.
This slideshow will highlight the reasons why Harvick might be the champ in 2013. There is one caveat to this article: Should things go badly during the first half of the season, look for him to jump ship early for SHR.
Despite being third in the final point standings during the 2010 and 2011 seasons, Kevin Harvick thought a crew chief change would help him better reach his ultimate goal of winning a championship.
The 2012 season saw Shane Wilson take over the position formerly held by Gil Martin. Harvick remained winless with Wilson as the Chase loomed only a few races away. Things were not going well with the two.
Harvick realized he was better off with Martin and wanted Childress to bring back his former crew chief. Martin was a 12-year veteran at RCR, so he agreed to return to the Budweiser team.
Performance improved with Martin resuming his duties alongside Harvick. The driver of the No. 29 won the next to last race of the year at Phoenix.
This team works well together, and both want to perform optimally for Childress. Martin wants to prove he can get Harvick to better than a third-place finish in the final standings.
Kevin Harvick would like nothing better than to kick off his future at Stewart-Haas Racing with a NASCAR Sprint Cup championship in his pocket from the 2013 season.
The driver who will wrap up his tenure at Richard Childress Racing with the 2013 season does not want to be a typical lame-duck driver with a lackluster season. He wants to leave on a high note.
Harvick is nicknamed "Happy," and now he really has reason to be happy with his plans locked in place to drive for Tony Stewart.
A happy driver is usually a winning driver provided they have top-tier equipment. Richard Childress will likely do all that he can to give Harvick the best possible equipment to enable him to run for the 2013 title.
Kevin Harvick finished the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona in July and hurried home to his wife Delana Harvick, who gave birth to their first child, Keelan Paul Harvick, the following day.
Harvick's young son is the pride and joy of his life. Sometimes becoming a father provides even greater motivation to win races. Those coveted photos with the baby in Victory Lane will become priceless.
It becomes even more important for a dad who drives a race car to win as the child becomes more aware of what is going on.
Young Keelan will be celebrating his first birthday in July, and it would not be surprising for his father to have won a race or two and be solid in the point standings.
Kevin Harvick was able to witness firsthand just how much fun winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship can be when you are sponsored by a beer company.
Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite car, gulped his sponsor's beer from a giant glass on the podium and during his numerous interviews. Beer flowed freely in Victory Lane.
We certainly had never seen a professional driver admit on live television that he had a "buzz" on like he did during an interview shown on ESPN.
Budweiser has been a solid sponsor for Harvick during his stint at Richard Childress Racing and is expected to follow him to Stewart-Haas Racing.
What could be better than to follow the winning of the 2012 title by a driver with a competing brand of beer than to take the Budweiser car to multiple victories in 2013, followed by the winning of the Sprint Cup title?
Kevin Harvick was happy driving a Nationwide car for Richard Childress Racing when tragedy struck on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500 and the life of Dale Earnhardt was lost.
The sudden void left by the death of the driver of the legendary No. 3 Chevrolet for RCR made it tough for Richard Childress to even continue his racing operation, but he did.
Harvick was a winning driver, so he was immediately moved up to the Cup level, and the No. 3 became the No. 29 Chevrolet.
Harvick was in an awkward position as he took over the seat of seven-time NASCAR Cup series champion. The young driver would not even try to live up to the legacy of Earnhardt, but instead prove himself in his own way.
In only the third race with Harvick behind the wheel of the No. 29, he went to Victory Lane at the Cracker Barrel 500 in Atlanta. Since that time he has gone on to win 19 times in NASCAR's top series.
With only one season left at Richard Childress Racing, nothing would be better than for Harvick to bring Childress the first title since Earnhardt's last one in 1994.