Crew chief for Kevin Harvick’s No. 4 SHR Ford Rodney Childers gave an honest assessment about his organization’s form this season.
While SHR might be trying hard to compete with other teams right now, Childers is trying to be realistic in expectations this season. And he doesn’t expect SHR form to improve drastically in the coming races.
“My honest answer is it kind of is what it is at this point,” said Childers, crew chief for Kevin Harvick’s No. 4 SHR Ford. “You don’t have many races left before the playoffs. We’ll probably go to the wind tunnel two more times before the playoffs start, maybe three times, so from a car side, we’re not really going to make the cars much better than where they’re at this weekend at Atlanta.
“From an engine side, those guys have been locked up all year long. They had to submit all their parts going into this year, and they can’t change all the things that we’ve been able to change in years past to be able to find more horsepower either. So when you can’t find more horsepower, and you can’t find more downforce, it puts you in a tight box. Those are the things that I think all of us are sitting here thinking and talking about. You’re just going to have to race differently and not make mistakes and be good on pit road and do those things, and hopefully, you can make it through the next round, but it’s going to be tough.”
It has been a very difficult season for SHR. All four drivers are yet to win this season. Additionally, only Harvick is inside the playoff spots as things stand.
Having seen Harvick dominate races weeks after weeks, it has been a strange season for him too. He is ninth in the points standings. Childers point out to last fall as when the team started losing momentum.
“We’ve just kind of been off a little bit all year long, no matter if it’s been a road course or a 550 [horsepower] race or a 750 race,” said Childers. “It’s definitely been tough. Everybody has been working really hard trying to get better. As you know, too, it’s tough to start reeling all that back in.
“You head down one direction, and you’ve got to try to just keep after it and hopefully, keep getting better every week. We’ve made some gains, but we just haven’t been knocking it out of the park as far as catching up, so we just have to keep working and hopefully get better.”
Seeing the likes of Joe Gibbs Racing and especially Hendrick Motorsports dominate the season must have been hard for SHR but they still time to salvage their season.