Saturday, July 13, 2024

Mike Harmon Racing name restored for 2024

CHK Racing is no more. Long live Mike Harmon Racing.

After just one year as CHK Racing to reflect a partnership between Mike Harmon, Gary Keller, and Michael Clayton Sr., Harmon has reverted the team name back to Mike Harmon Racing for the 2024 NASCAR Xfinity Series season. In a statement released Thursday, Harmon explained one of his partners whose identity he did not disclose did not provide the necessary resources to be competitive.

The team’s #74 struggled mightily in 2023 as it finished forty-seventh in owner points and qualified for just seven races while missing fifteen that it entered. Ryan Vargas, who joined CHK as a consultant, failed to qualify for the first three races before the team’s revolving door of drivers brought in names like Casey Carden, Dawson Cram, Kaden Honeycutt, Devin Jones, Baltazar Leguizamón, and Brad Pérez.

Only Cram and Honeycutt successfully qualified for races, the former making six with a best finish of twenty-first at Texas.

“Last year was not what I had envisioned,” said Harmon. “We were sold a bunch of goods from a so-called ‘partner’ who said they’d help move our programme forward, both with financial investment and help getting us marketing partners. We didn’t get what was promised to us. The only thing we got was abandoned and an attempt to ruin our reputation.

“While the weather wasn’t much of a help to begin our season, especially with no points going into Daytona, it made it tough for the first half of the season. It wasn’t fair to our long-term partners that still believe in us and to our fans who support us, that the help wasn’t there, until we began to run better, the ‘partner’ then they took valuable sponsorship to other teams, in an attempt to shut us down! This is his track record though, we knew better. Racing is hard enough, the Xfinity Series has some of the toughest competition I’ve seen in years, you can’t race on empty promises.”

Mike Harmon Racing has raced since 2007, spending their first two years with multiple owners including Harmon before he took over sole control in 2009 to create the MHR identity. Harmon was a regular on the Xfinity circuit before stepping back in 2020 to focus on running the team.

From 2020 to 2022, the team also fielded the #47 car, which enjoyed strong performances during its maiden season as Kyle Weatherman scored MHR’s first top ten. Bayley Currey added another the following year in the #74.

The #74 will remain the outfit’s main car in 2024, though they are also open to continuing a part-time schedule with the #47.

“I built this programme decades ago with blood, sweat, and tears,” commented Harmon. “While our 2023 season was not the most desirable, we had help from the top tier teams that got us through, and I can’t thank them enough. There’s no quit in us. We work hard and are even more committed to work harder in this off season, to prepare for Daytona.”