“Like Belichick and Tom Brady Splitting Up”- Denny Hamlin Claims Rodney Childers Is Key to Kevin Harvick’s Replacement’s Success

Published 02/12/2024, 11:16 AM EST

Follow Us

Stewart-Haas Racing will now be without the retired Kevin Harvick. And the team recruited Josh Berry in his stead. This comes at a time when SHR had had a nightmare season. Since its Cup Series debut in 2002 and rebrand to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2009, the organisation has crowned two champions in 2011 and in 2014. Ever since those seasons though, neither of the four cars have been championship contenders. 2023 was by far the worst season, with Harvick barely squeaking through to the Playoffs, while the other three failed. Naturally, 2024 is the time for the team to turn things around and rebuild from the ground up.

America’s Favorite Video Today

Newcomer Berry will be linking up with veteran crew chief Rodney Childers for the upcoming campaign. In light of this, Joe Gibbs Racing star Denny Hamlin spoke about the partnership.

Hamlin believes that Rodney Childers is the key to the team’s fortunes

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Speaking on his Actions Detrimental podcast, Hamlin said, “We just don’t know, it’s hard-pressed to bet against Rodney Childers, cause he finds speed, or has found speed with Kevin Harvick for so many years. We’re probably going to find out. This is like Belichick and Tom Brady splitting up. That will be interesting, I don’t see any major names that I’m then taking out. There would be a couple of cars that you would expect to make the Playoffs, not make it.”

In other words, the #11 driver is refusing to underestimate Stewart-Haas Racing. Especially considering that Rodney Childers is hugely experienced and guided Harvick to the 2014 Cup title.

Trending

Get instantly notified of the hottest NASCAR stories via Google! Click on Follow Us and Tap the Blue Star.

Follow Us

Additionally, Ford are currently employing a brand new Mustang Dark Horse. Since the car promises to be much faster than its predecessor, all of the Ford teams will seriously benefit from it. Of course, Stewart-Haas Racing will have to worry about the other Ford teams and hope that they can turn their fortunes around.

Tony Stewart was not pleased with his team’s poor performances

Since 2021, the team appeared to be sliding backwards and they have struggled with the Next Gen car. Tony Stewart told SiriusXM NASCAR radio:

“You gotta sit there and be smart and analyze what’s going on (and) why it’s going on. But it’s our job to make sure if things aren’t going right, that we’re making the right adjustments to make the corrections and get it right. Everyone in that building understands that what we did the last two years isn’t acceptable anymore and that’s not the standard this team has been accustomed to. We’ve got a lot of banners hanging from the ceiling that show we know how to do it right and we got two of those banners that show we know how to do it right for an entire season.”

Watch This Story: This Surprising Contender Could Potentially Replace Aric Almirola in Tony Stewart’s Team

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Kevin Harvick was the only saving grace last season, and he was in the twilight of his racing career. Teammate and fellow veteran Aric Almirola also departed, leaving SHR with a relatively young and inexperienced team.

Aside from Berry, Noah Gragson has joined the team and they have a mountain to climb.

What doesn’t help them, it the fact that they lost a fair number of key sponsors. Chief among them was Anheuser Busch, which has jumped ship to Trackhouse Racing and Ross Chastain. Even Almirola’s long-time sponsor Smithfield, elected to depart the organization.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Now, the team will be aiming for a fresh start with its relatively young squad. Chase Briscoe is undoubtedly the most experienced, having been in the organisation, the longest. 2024 will be Ryan Preece’s second season with the team, while Berry and Gragson are the rookies of the organisation. Without any doubt, all four drivers are talented, but who will step up as the leader and guide the team back to the front? Will it be Josh Berry and Rodney Childers?

NASCAR Insider Highlights RCR & SHR’s Dismal State as Cup Teams Power Rankings Come to Light

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Written by:

Dhruv George

14,278Articles

One take at a time

Dhruv George is a Senior NASCAR Author at EssentiallySports, with an impressive record of over 14K articles. From F1 driver Pierre Gasly to Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino, Dhruv has interviewed several racers, establishing himself as an authoritative voice in the world of motorsports. He not only writes engaging content but helps connect readers with some of the biggest racing names thanks to his ability to churn out exclusive interviews.
Show More>

Edited by:

Rohan Karnad

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

EDITORS' PICK

America’s Favorite Video Today