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Kevin Harvick Inc. merges Nationwide Series program with Richard Childress Racing

Kevin Harvick (left) will merge his Nationwide Series teams with his Sprint Cup car owner, Richard Childress, for 2012.
Kevin Harvick (left) will merge his Nationwide Series teams with his Sprint Cup car owner, Richard Childress, for 2012.

Special to Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service

Kevin Harvick Inc. will merge its current Nationwide Series program with Richard Childress Racing, RCR announced Tuesday afternoon.

RCR will field the two KHI cars - the No. 2 for driver Elliott Sadler and the No. 33 for a mix of drivers from RCR's Cup stable - beginning in 2012. RCR team owner Richard Childress has said he also wants to field a Nationwide car for Austin Dillon in 2012.

What will happen to the KHI program in the Camping World Truck Series was not mentioned in the news release, but team co-owner Kevin Harvick said two weeks ago that the organization will be different next year when asked if the team would field any of its three trucks in 2012.

A KHI spokesman would not elaborate, saying that Harvick would answer questions Friday at Richmond.

"KHI and RCR have worked together very closely over the last several years," Harvick said in a statement. "(My wife) DeLana and I are fortunate that Richard has always been supportive of KHI over the last 10 years.

"We feel like this merger will benefit our on-track performance as well as provide our sponsors with more opportunity off track. We will still be very involved and are excited about the Nationwide team's new direction."

Based in an 80,000-foot shop in Kernersville, N.C., KHI has 39 wins in trucks and 10 in the Nationwide Series since opening in 2001.

The organization has won two driver and owner titles in the truck series with Ron Hornaday. Harvick won the 2001 Nationwide title driving for RCR and the 2006 title driving primarily for RCR, with a handful of races for KHI.

"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 RCR owner Richard Childress. "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."