One of the major stories of 2010 could be drawing to a close, as ESPN.com is reporting that Kevin Harvick is close to signing a deal to stay with Richard Childress Racing.
"Yeah, we're pretty far down the road," Richard Childress told ESPN.com's David Newton. "We've still got to get a few things finalized, but we're looking forward to getting everything done by Charlotte or before Charlotte."
Now, there are plenty of pitfalls to avoid before any deal is signed. For starters, who's going to sponsor Harvick now that Shell is jumping to Penske? Childress claims that there are sponsors "that are not even in the sport" who have expressed interest.
For another, Harvick was fairly adamant in recent months that he wanted to move on. Not to say that hurt feelings couldn't be smoothed over, but it'd be a dramatic change from what many would have anticipated even a few months ago.
However, the list of non-RCR options available to Harvick is slim, at best. Originally targeted for a slot at Stewart-Haas by both fans and media, Harvick's odds of landing a seat there are slim indeed without a sponsor. The best play may, in fact, be staying put.
There's much to be seen, and Harvick himself has expressed his distaste for speculation in print, so we'll say only this: We expect to see Kevin Harvick driving next season. Beyond that, who knows?
- Richard Childress