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Monster Energy NASCAR Cup

Kevin Harvick: I Hope Danica Patrick Finds a Ride

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Kevin Harvick, the 2014 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion, said he wants his Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Danica Patrick to find a new ride for next year.

“I hope that Danica gets a sponsor because she’s an important part of our sport,” said Harvick. “… She’s had a lot of very good moments.”

Patrick announced Tuesday that she won’t be returning to SHR next season, but did not offer specifics on where she could be headed.

“Danica’s been a huge part of this sport and turned a lot of people on to racing,” Harvick said Wednesday morning at NASCAR Playoff Day at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte. “And the impact and the footprint that she has brought to our sport is big.”

But Harvick also said performance is an issue. Patrick has not had a top-five finish in 180 career Cup starts. “On the other side of that, you have the performance side of things that at some point measures into everybody’s sponsorship.

“I read the statement from Smithfield yesterday, and obviously it sounds like that’s the reason they’re leaving Richard Petty Motorsports is because they feel like the program is working for them off the racetrack, and they want to run better on the track.”

Smithfield Foods announced Tuesday that it’s leaving RPM and moving to SHR, starting in 2018.

Harvick said changing teams might be the best thing for Patrick.

“Look at Joey Logano,” he said. “He went from Joe Gibbs Racing to Penske and became an immediate championship contender. That’s what you hope for.”

Tom Jensen

Tom Jensen is a veteran motorsports journalist. He spent 13 years with FOXSports.com, where he was Digital Content Manager. Previously, he was executive editor of NASCAR Scene and managing editor of National Speed Sport News. Jensen served as the president of the National Motorsports Press Association and is the group’s former Writer of the Year.