Last season, Kevin Harvick was said to be as good as gone from Richard Childress Racing.
He finished a disappointing 19th in points after finishing fourth a year before, went winless for the second year in a row, and had nine finishes of 30th or worse. To make matters worse, it had been reported that Happy Harvick had burned his bridges with the team he made his Busch Series debut for in 1999.
Now fast forward to present day 2010. Oh, how things have changed.
Harvick snapped his 115 race winless streak earlier this season at the Talladega Superspeedway. He's finished in the top ten nine times, and he's currently the Sprint Cup Series points leader.
And on Saturday, things got even better for the Bakersfield, California native.
Just a few hours before the green flag dropped for the All Star race, Harvick and team owner Richard Childress announced a multi year extension, though wouldn't specify the details of the agreement.
"I know there'll be questions about sponsors... hopefully in the very near future, we'll have something to announce there," Childress said.
Childress added that three or four teams have been in talks to sponsor the No. 29 Chevrolet, who will lose Shell/Pennzoil after this season.
"We've been through a lot of ups and downs," Harvick said, and later added "It's been an incredible turnaround."
Kevin Harvick Inc.'s Nationwide Series efforts may also have been a contributing factor to keeping Harvick with RCR; they will continue to field Earnhardt Childress engines and chassis. He also said he never considered bringing KHI to Cup to run as an owner-driver.
After the announcement, Harvick tweeted "great day, now lets concentrate on this championship!"
Thanks to those who tweeted the event live for the quotes used in this piece: ESPN's Marty Smith, SB Nation's Jeff Gluck, USA Today's Nate Ryan, Scene Daily's Kenny Bruce, and SPEED TV's Tom Jensen. Also thanks to Racing Reference and NASCAR.com for the stats and information used.