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Kevin Harvick’s title hopes get help from Stewart: Pit crew

Kevin Harvick will begin his quest to win the 2014 Sprint Cup Series championship with a new pit crew.

It also will be an experienced one.

Stewart-Haas Racing announced Tuesday it was swapping the pit crews of Harvick’s No. 4 team and teammate and co-owner Tony Stewart’s No. 14 team, effective immediately. Harvick has been critical of his team’s performance at times this season.

His new crew won the 2011 series championship with Stewart.

“We made this change in the best interests of the entire organization,” said Greg Zipadelli, SHR’s vice president of competition.

“Our primary goal is to win races and championships, and this pit crew swap provides championship experience to the No. 4 team and continued race-winning experience to the No. 14 team.”

Stewart, who has not won this season and missed three races, did not qualify for the Chase.

Johnson on mend: An analysis by Hendrick Motorsports on Jimmie Johnson’s No. 48 Chevrolet used in Saturday night’s race at Richmond, Va., found all of the car’s components were functioning properly, a team spokesperson confirmed.

The spokesperson also said she had exchanged text messages with the driver Monday evening and he said he was feeling much better.

Johnson was rushed to the infield care center after the race, suffering from dehydration. He received 5 liters of intravenous fluids.

“We’ll have to dig in and see what happened, but I started cramping when I got out of the race car,” he said.

Johnson is scheduled to take part in NASCAR’s Chase Across North America media tour Wednesday with a visit to New York.

Keselowski on tour: N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory and NASCAR star Brad Keselowski will headline an event Wednesday at City Plaza in uptown Raleigh to promote next month’s Chase race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The event is part of NASCAR’s Chase Across North America tour. Keselowski, the 2012 series champion, enters the Chase with four victories and the No. 1 seed.

The free event will begin at noon and will include show cars, prize giveaways and a fan forum with Keselowski.

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