Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What to make of KHI-RCR merger?

    On Wednesday, Richard Childress Racing announced it would be merging with Kevin Harvick Inc. to run a joint program in the Nationwide Series next season. Basically, it's the reversal of a deal announced over a year ago in which RCR said its Nationwide programs would be run out of KHI.

   The question remains about how this merger affects the future of KHI as an organization. Team owner Kevin and DeLana Harvick have yet to announce their plans - if any - to field teams in the Truck series in 2012.

   With the Nationwide program at RCR and without a Truck program, in essence KHI would no longer operate as an organization fielding multiple teams in NASCAR's national series.

   Any way you put that, that can't be good for NASCAR.

   One of the things I thought that was always a bonus for NASCAR was drivers who made their way through NASCAR's lower-tier series "giving back" to the sport, so to speak, by operating teams in those series when they have moved on to Sprint Cup.

   Think of the wins and championships of the last several years in Trucks and Nationwide and the role KHI teams and drivers have played in them. That's a big contribution to see exit the playing field.

   Organizations like KHI, Kyle Busch Motorsports and Brad Keselowski Racing epitomize what is best about many of the sport's drivers. Racing is not only a hobby to them, but a way of life - and one they like to share with others like them.

   We don't know the future of KHI yet. We don't know all of the reasons for the decisions that have already been made.

   What we do know is NASCAR is worse off today than it was yesterday.