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Kevin Harvick SiriusXM show ‘Happy Hours’ back for second season

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Former champion Kevin Harvick’s SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Show “Happy Hours” returns for a second season at 7 p.m. ET Tuesday.

The season’s second show will air from 7-9 p.m. on Feb. 14, which is a Wednesday. After that, the show air from 7-9 p.m. ET on Tuesdays.

“Having my own show on SiriusXM has brought my relationship with the fans to a whole new level,” said Harvick in a statement from SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “I love that I have two hours to completely share my thoughts on the races and our sport, to really give those fans much more than the quick interview or the emotional sound bite they otherwise see or hear at the track on weekends. ‘Happy Hours’ has created a connection that I had never really experienced before in my career, and I am really excited to get back on the air again this season.”

 “Kevin had a tremendous 2017 both on the track and with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, qualifying for the Championship 4 and hosting a fantastic radio program,” said Steve Cohen, SiriusXM’s SVP of Sports Programming. “His personality, perspective and charisma are perfect for SiriusXM and we are excited for the second season of ‘Happy Hours.’ ”

SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (channel 90) airs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, delivering racing talk, news and event coverage of NASCAR’s Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series.

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Kevin Harvick on Cup drivers in Xfinity, Trucks: ‘Just let them race. Who cares?’

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Kevin Harvick, who once owned an Xfinity team and races in that series, voiced his displeasure Tuesday night with NASCAR’s rule to further limit Cup drivers in Xfintiy and Truck races next year.

“I know there are going to be a lot of people that disagree with me, but it’s hard when you’re trying to build a business and you’re trying to sell sponsorship, you have no tool greater than yourself when you’re in a situation like Brad (Keselowski), myself or Kyle (Busch),’’ Harvick said on his SiriusXM NASCAR Radio show “Happy Hours.’’

“It seems you’re just getting your balls chopped off every time you try to go out and sell sponsorship to try to keep your team funded because of the fact you can’t run enough races, so you can’t tie it to enough things. To me, it’s not the right thing to do.’’

MORE: NASCAR further limits Cup drivers in Xfinity, Trucks 

MORE: Kyle Busch calls new rule “frustrating”

NASCAR announced Tuesday that all Cup drivers are prohibited from competing in the last eight races of the season for the Xfinity and Trucks — the regular-season finale and playoffs. Cup drivers are also prohibited from the Dash 4 Cash races.

Cup drivers with more than five years experience in that series are limited to seven Xfinity races (down from 10 this year) and five Truck races (down from seven this year). Harvick said that Cup drivers were going to be limited to five Xfinity races next year before a compromise of seven was set.

“Just let them race,’’ Harvick said. “Who cares? Why not just let them race. I don’t understand it. That’s what we do. We race cars, we race trucks, we race late models. That’s what we did all our life, we raced. I don’t know why all of a sudden it’s become a problem.’’

Harvick did say that he’s fine with Cup drivers being kept out of the playoffs in both series and the Dash 4 Cash races but they should not be kept out of any other races.

Harvick admits he’s biased toward team ownership because of his history. Harvick and wife DeLana owned Kevin Harvick Inc., which ran in NASCAR from 2002-11. The organization won Camping World Truck Series titles in 2007 and ’09 with Ron Hornaday Jr. and won the owner’s title in 2011. They sold the team after the 2011 season.

Harvick has said previously that allowing Cup drivers in the Xfinity and Truck Series gives young drivers in those series added experience of running against such competitors. He’s also expressed concerns about sponsorship since some sponsors want to be aligned with Cup drivers in those series.

Harvick said Tuesday on “Happy Hours” that Ryan Preece, who won this past weekend at Iowa Speedway for Joe Gibbs Racing, would not have had a chance to drive that car had it not been for JGR using Cup drivers.

“Let me tell you this, Ryan Preece‘s car wouldn’t even been in existence if Denny Hamlin and Erik Jones didn’t have the sponsorship … for that 20 car to be on the race track,” Harvick said on his show.

“I agree with the opportunity (for young drivers) but sometimes you have to balance that opportunity with trying to run a business,’’ Harvick said Tuesday night. “When you’re cutting Kyle’s feet and Brad’s feet out from underneath them when they can’t do what they want to do, then it becomes hard for the teams to do what they need to do.

“I think what you’re going to see happen, when you run out of those options, those Xfinity sponsors are going to start plugging holes on the Cup side and they’re still going to get the Cup driver that they want … because they’re going to put their money on the Cup car.’’

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Kevin Harvick: Most 500-mile races should be shorter

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Kevin Harvick “100 percent” believes 500-mile races like last Sunday’s at Texas Motor Speedway and other non-“crown jewel” races should be shorter.

The Stewart-Haas Racing driver made the comments Tuesday night on his SiriusXM NASCAR Radio show, “Happy Hours.”

Harvick thinks race distances should be adjusted to fit the current landscape of NASCAR racing and fan attention spans.

There are eight 500-mile races on the schedule.

“I think the 500-mile race is a long time,” Harvick said. “I think with the stage racing and the things that we have going now and the attention spans of what people want to watch, I think that there should be the Coke 600, the Daytona 500, the Southern 500, the crown jewel events should have those distances, and I think everything else should be shorter.”

Sunday’s race in Texas was 334 laps and finished in three hours, 24 minutes and 18 seconds. It was the fourth Cup race through the first seven of the year to last longer than three hours and 20 minutes.

Last years’ spring Texas race was 3 hours, 37 minutes and 16 seconds. In 2015, it was three hours, 33 minutes and 57 seconds.

Five of the first seven races this year have been longer time wise than last year, that includes the Daytona 500 (three hours, 29 minutes and 31 seconds) and the 500-mile Atlanta race (three hours, 33 minutes and eight seconds).

Some tracks have shortened races in the last few years. In 2012, Pocono Raceway shortened both its races from 500 to 400 miles. In 2010, Auto Club Speedway did the same and Dover International Speedway went to 400-mile races back in 1997.

Phoenix Raceway briefly extended is spring race from 500 to 600 kilometers in 2010 before reverting to its original length the next year.

But the idea of Texas Motor Speedway shortening its two 500-mile races might be a pipe dream, at least as long as general manager and president Eddie Gossage has a say in the matter.

“I can tell you that the fans do not want shorter races,” Gossage told ESPN in 2015. “Period. End of story.

“The only people that want shorter races are the people that run the races — the teams. I guess I’d like to get work less and still get paid the same.”

In that same ESPN article two years ago Gossage said he hadn’t heard any talk about shortening races, especially from fans. But he had heard of discussions about “format and things like halftimes and quarters.

“… I don’t know how serious anybody is about that.”

Turns out, very.

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