You read that right.
On this week’s Door Bumper Clear podcast, co-host Brett Griffin mentioned a wild rumor involving Ryan Preece.
Clint Bowyer’s spotter said at the end of the 2019 season there was a rumor 2-time Xfinity Winner Ryan Preece would replace Kevin Harvick at Stewart-Haas Racing following the 2020 season. Harvick would subsequently join the broadcast booth for the 2021 season.
Harvick Signs New Deal
Kevin Harvick signed a three year extension at the beginning of the 2020 season. Harvick’s new deal ties him to SHR through the 2023 season when he will be 47.
An extension for both sides was logical. Harvick is still winning races, he and Rodney Childers remain a dynamic duo that are contending for championships year in and year out. For SHR they had no choice but to re-sign Harvick who remains the only consistent driver in their 4-team stable. Without Harvick and Childers SHR is a meddling mid-pack team most weeks.
The Rumor Was Plausible
Obviously the rumor was nothing more than that, a rumor.
However, there is some substance to it. At the end of last season Harvick only had a deal through the 2020 season. He increased the amount of time he was spending in the broadcast booth which led to speculation that he would bounce out after the season.
Throw in the fact that Ryan Preece is signed with Kevin Harvick’s management company KHI and things certainly lined up for this to occur.
Preece impressed the racing world when he bet on himself in 2017 taking his backing to Joe Gibbs Racing for 4 races instead of a full-season with JD Motorsports. That bet resulted in a win at Iowa. Preece followed that up in 2018 with a win at Bristol before landing a Cup ride with JTG-Daugherty Racing in 2019.
In 2020, Preece has been underwhelming at best. Would he be the next Kevin Harvick at SHR or would he be Aric Almirola? One win and a handful of decent finishes but otherwise underwhelming.
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