Talladega Notes: Harvick Will Stay, Earnhardt Jr. Beard Gone

Sandra MacWattersCorrespondent IApril 23, 2010

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 06:  Kevin Harvick, driver of the #29 Shell/Pennzoil Chevrolet talks with team owner Richard Childress on pit road during qualifying for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 6, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jason Smith/Getty Images

Rumors of Kevin Harvick departing RCR seem to be just that.  It appears the driver of the No. 29 has been having many long chats with Richard Childress concerning his future.  The talks are said to have been very positive and things are going well at RCR.

He will be driving a Chevrolet, so Joe Gibbs Racing is out of the equation.  Stewart-Haas Racing remained the only possibility, but that could be the clash of the titans.

It would be difficult to imagine two strong-willed dudes like Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart making nice together with Tony being his boss.

The reality is Kevin would like to be in an owner/driver position with a Sprint Cup team, but for now he is going to have to remain content running Kevin Harvick Inc. with his wife Delana.

He is doing well with his NASCAR Nationwide team since he is the driver and able to not only relay feedback to his team, but dictate what they do.  It would be good to see him drive his car for the full season in that series.

Richard Childress appeared optimistic in Talladega that Kevin would be staying after his contract expires this year.

The loss of sponsorship for Harvick's No. 29 Chevy is an issue Richard Childress will deal with and it should not affect Kevin's status at RCR.  He will just sport a new primary sponsor for 2011.

The really shocking news unfolded earlier this week when Dale Earnhardt Jr. appeared at a photo shoot for Amp Energy and was clean-shaven.

At practice in Talladega for the Aaron's 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup race he sported slight stubble. 

Dale Jr. has greatly improved his performance race by race this season until he now lurks in seventh place in the points standings.

Hopefully the demise of his scraggly, macho beard was for the multitude of photos that will be shot in the winner's circle on Sunday in Talladega.  He will more than likely shave again before the race since that obviously will be a hot topic for the media.

Many favor him over the squabbling Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon who may just battle one another right out the race if they continue the bumping on the high banks like they did at Texas Motor Speedway.

Jr.'s history on the superspeedway tracks indicates this should be a good race for him especially since he seems to have some mojo going for him now. 

A little less drag as a result of the beard removal hopefully will assist the aero-package for Dale Earnhardt Jr.and help move him to a win.  It is about time after missing the last 65 attempts to finish in position one with his HMS No. 88.