By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service
Distributed by The Sports Xchange
AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Kevin Harvick has agreed to drive for Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014, according to a report by ESPN.com's Marty Smith, who cited industry sources as the basis for his story.
Neither Harvick, whose contract with Richard Childress Racing runs through 2013, nor Stewart-Haas co-owner Tony Stewart would confirm the move.
"I'm looking forward to finishing out this season on a strong note with RCR and continuing to build our program going into the 2013 season, with the ultimate goal of winning a championship," ESPN.com quoted Harvick as saying Friday at Phoenix International Raceway.
"Anything beyond that, once I know what my future plans are set I'll let you know."
Stewart was equally noncommittal.
"It's actually Dale (Earnhardt) Jr.," Stewart quipped to reporters gathered behind his transporter after Sprint Cup practice. "I'll tell you this -- when we have something to tell you guys, we'll tell you.
"You guys can throw darts... when we've got something to tell you that's different from what we've got going on, we'll obviously tell you."
This is Harvick's 12th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season with RCR. Harvick has posted 18 victories since his Cup debut at Rockingham in 2001, eight days after seven-time champion and RCR driver Dale Earnhardt Sr. died as a result of a last-lap crash in the Daytona 500.
Stewart-Haas will field cars for Stewart, Ryan Newman and Danica Patrick next year. The plan is to add a fourth car for Harvick in 2014, according to the report.
JOHNSON WANTS TO BE BEST EVER
Jimmie Johnson isn't just focused on the run for his sixth Cup championship this year. He already has an eye on his legacy.
"I've made this reference a few times, but a friend of mine said to me that limits begin where the vision ends," Johnson said Friday at Phoenix. "I want to be considered the best driver ever to sit in a stock car. The undisputed way to pull that off is to win eight championships."
With two races left in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Johnson leads second-place Brad Keselowski by seven points. He realizes that his success hasn't made him universally popular -- far from it in some quarters -- but the same was true of seven-time champions Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Sr., and his own teammate, four-time champion Jeff Gordon.
"I wasn't around to see the Petty era, but I know...Or I can only assume that a lot of people were tired of seeing the King win," Johnson said. "I know a lot of people were tired of seeing Earnhardt win. I lived it firsthand in watching Jeff Gordon go through that very same thing after his fourth championship...
"I'm not doing anything different than Gordon, Petty, Earnhardt. In fact, I'm awfully damn proud to be in that lump of guys that had to go from cheers to boos -- and when you they get back to cheering you again is when you stop winning.
"I don't want the cheers. I'll keep the boos. That's fine."
The reports of Danica Patrick's demise from sponsor GoDaddy.com's Super Bowl commercials clearly were premature, according to company founder Bob Parsons, who announced at a Thursday press conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., that Patrick would appear in both of the company's 30-second spots on Super Sunday.
The hiring of ad agency Deutsch Inc. to produce the Super Bowl commercials fueled speculation that GoDaddy.com might change directions in its marketing, but Parsons scotched those rumors with his announcement at the press conference.
The news took Patrick by surprise -- at least to an extent.
"It was a surprise, but it was mostly a big surprise because he said he said I'd be in both of them," Patrick told the NASCAR Wire Service after the formal question-and-answer session. "I know they've been working on creative and getting that in, so I thought maybe one commercial... but to be in both of them is very, very flattering, and I just want to do a good job for them."
At a press conference this afternoon at Phoenix International Raceway, NASCAR driver Danica Patrick gave some insight into the vital medical condition COPD. November is COPD national awareness month, and DRIVE4COPD is the official health initiative of NASCAR. Patrick is a celebrity ambassador for DRIVE4COPD, and she's helping people learn about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in memory of her grandmother who died from emphysema, a form of the disease. Danica remembers how her grandmother struggled to breathe and the impact that had on her life. She's raising awareness for COPD as the leading ambassador for the DRIVE4COPD campaign. DRIVE4COPD is a public health initiative that is designed to raise awareness of COPD and screen the millions who may be at risk for the disease.
"November is the month and orange is the color," Danica stated. "I have been working with COPD on raising awareness for that disease which is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, for a few years now. My grandma had it and she passed away and it was an opportunity for me to do something really good and try and help other people."
AUSTIN DILLON TO DAYTONA 500
Austin Dillon will drive the No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet in the 2013 Daytona 500, with sponsorship from Cheerios, Dillon announced Friday at Phoenix.
"I'm really excited, and it's cool to be in the Daytona 500 after watching it so many years," said Dillon, who currently is third in the Nationwide Series standings, 21 points behind co-leaders Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Elliott Sadler. "To watch all the history that's gone into that race, and now to be a part of it -- I can't wait to get there."
Dillon won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series title last year and is trying to win the Nationwide championship as a rookie this season.