You may love them, you may loathe them, but the drivers of SHR never seem to be far from the headlines. For better or for worse, Stewart-Haas racing drivers Danica Patrick, Kurt Busch and Clint Bowyer are making news.
What a country! Where else can a driver with a rather mundane track record of performance get so much support. By now, you’ve heard that Nature’s Bakery is in hot water with SHR for non-payment for their sponsorship of Danica Patrick. Ford (SHR’s new mamufacturer) says, “No problem. We’ll pick up the tab.” Surely there are other drivers wondering “Where was this kind of help when I needed it?”
This may make your truly sound like a hater. I’m not. You know, this could be the year Danica Patrick leaps from running in the mid-20s to making the playoffs. We have seen cases where a driver just needed a little time and the right set of circumstances. The good news for her and her fans is that Danica Patrick will get that chance this year.
When Kurt Busch goes, he goes big. He didn’t just get married, he got married on an island, with Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler flexing the golden pipes musically. After his stormy relationship with Patricia Driscoll- the subject of some unsavory headlines two years ago- the 2004 champion tied the knot with polo player Ashley Van Metre at St. Barthelemy. It hasn’t always been easy being Kurt Busch, but he heads in to Speed Week with a little wind in his sails. Nothing like love and new responsibilities to get you motivated.
Always strong on the restrictor plate tracks, the newest addition at SHR- Clint Bowyer- gets a fresh start at SHR at Daytona. Nothing HScott Racing, but the former MWR and RCR star had to feel like he was in racing purgatory, racing with a team struggling to survive. He’ll have familiar faces around, including former RCR teammate Kevin Harvick.
Speaking of Harvick, Happy’s life has been rather quiet by comparison. SHR’s most successful driver of late, he’s tackling the challenge of working with a new manufacturer after racing in Chevys his whole career. Some speculated (mostly by hard core fans of the bowties) that Harvick would rather bolt than race for the Blue Oval. By every indication, the 2014 champion is embracing the change and poised to lead the way for SHR once again.
As the season draws near, you can rest assured we haven’t heard the last of the SHR gang. From this group should emerge at least a pair of contenders, and if not, expect plenty of fireworks. It’s how SHR rolls, much like their boss, Tony Stewart.