Stewart-Haas Locks Up Childers

LONG POND, PA - JUNE 05:  Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John's Chevrolet, prepares his equipment on the grid prior to qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Axalta "We Paint Winners" 400 at Pocono Raceway on June 5, 2015 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

LONG POND, PA – JUNE 05: Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet, prepares his equipment on the grid prior to qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 at Pocono Raceway on June 5, 2015 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

LONG POND, Pa. – Kevin Harvick’s championship-winning collaboration with crew chief Rodney Childers will continue for the foreseeable future. Stewart-Haas Racing announced Friday that it has signed Childers to a multiyear contract extension.

In 2014, their first season together at SHR, Childers and Harvick won five races and the NASCAR Sprint Cup title, becoming only the third Sprint Cup team to lead more than 2,000 laps in a season since 2000.  The success has continued this season as Harvick has opened a commanding 44-point lead in the point standings, thanks to nine first- or second-place finishes in the first 13 races. Only Bobby Allison (1972) and Cale Yarborough (1977) had as many top-twos to start a season.

Childers, who will turn 39 on Sunday and already had a contract through next season, says he had a sense that things would pay off when he left Michael Waltrip Racing to join SHR.

“I knew when I came to Stewart-Haas Racing that this was a special opportunity,” he said. “Kevin’s skills have always been evident, and his hunger and desire to be the absolute best he can be in every practice, qualifying session and race motivates our entire team. We have great leadership at Stewart-Haas Racing along with a deep commitment toward success, excellent people and strong partners. If you want to win, this is where you want to be, and I’m happy to be here for a long time.”

SHR co-owner Tony Stewart called keeping Childers and Harvick together a “high priority.”

“Rodney Childers and Kevin Harvick set a new standard of excellence in 2014 that they’ve carried into this season,” Stewart said. “We’re obviously very happy to have the two of them at Stewart-Haas Racing for many years to come.”

Pocono Improves The View

Pocono Raceway announced that it will install two new 60-foot video towers, each with two high-definition video screens to provide fans with enhanced views of live action, entertainment and real-time statistics.

“The video displays will provide new views of the race and leaderboard information which previously were not available,” Pocono Raceway President and CEO Brandon Igdalsky said. The 24.15 x 30.45 inch screens from ANC Sports are expected to be operational for the July 31-Aug. 2 Pennsylvania 400 race weekend.

Dillon Meets Real Horsepower

If thoroughbred American Pharaoh wins Saturday’s Belmont Stakes, Ty Dillon jokes that he deserves the credit.  Dillon came face to face with the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner while doing a track promotion for Kentucky Speedway.

“We met the assistant trainer,” Dillon said. “He let me go back there and feed him some carrots and (we) watched him walk onto the hauler as he was leaving to go to New York and hopefully win the Triple Crown. If he wins, I’m going to take all the credit.”

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