Kevin Harvick heads to Daytona this week looking to capture his second Harley J. Earl Trophy. However, the 2007 Daytona 500 winner will likely start the week’s worth of racing festivities with a more conservative approach than normal not by choice, but out of necessity.
The Stewart-Haas Racing car is just one of several in the garage adversely affected by the worldwide supply chain issues. How do we know this? Harvick’s longtime crew chief Rodney Childers made it known last week via Twitter that the team would shockingly travel to Daytona with a single car.
This weekend, he provided a photo that confirmed it.
Kevin Harvick’s crew chief Rodney Childers shares concern of multiple NASCAR teams
Last week, while the hauler carrying the No. 4 car of Kevin Harvick made the cross-country trip to Los Angeles for the Clash at the Coliseum, Harvick’s crew chief Rodney Childers raised more than a few eyebrows when he revealed how the worldwide supply chain crisis is adversely affecting NASCAR.
It happened innocently enough when a fan on Twitter asked Childers when the 2022 team photo would happen and the longtime chief offered a surprising response.
“Before we load for the Daytona 500 like normal..” he replied. “Will be a little odd with only 1 car..”
When another fan inquired about the reason for the single car, Childers’ answer provided some clarity.
“Only 1 because we can’t get parts to build the backup car,” he said.
Team photo confirms crew chief’s initial concern
On Saturday, with the Daytona 500 just eight days away, and just as Childers indicated more than a week earlier, the team prepared to load up Kevin Harvick’s car for the trip south. But before it did, it was time for that team photo.
“Ready to go… Year nine with the 4 Team,” Childers tweeted with a photo that had the big black hauler in the background with the crew all standing around a single No. 4 car.
Kevin Harvick team in better shape after Clash at Coliseum
As Kevin Harvick and company make final preparations for Daytona, the picture is somewhat clearer after the season-opening exhibition race at the LA Coliseum.
Going into LA, one option was to use the Clash car as a backup for Daytona. However, there was no guarantee the car would come out of the race in one piece, especially after the much-anticipated beating and banging on the quarter-mile track.
During practice, Harvick tested the new Next Gen car’s fenders a little on the rear bumper of Corey LaJoie but otherwise stayed clean throughout the race weekend, which ended with a 10th-place finish.
With the Clash car now available if needed as a backup, the team can breathe somewhat easier knowing if the main car suffers serious damage during practice, qualifying, or the Duels, there will be at least one car available.
Just another intriguing plot twist to a week at Daytona that is always full of storylines ahead of the season’s biggest race on the sport’s biggest stage.