Kahne Out At Petty, In At Red Bull
Kasey Kahne has been released as a driver for Richard Petty Motorsports effective immediately, the team announced late Wednesday night.
On Thursday morning, Red Bull Racing announced it would put Kahne into one of its cars for the remaining five races of the season.
Aric Almirola will pilot the No. 9 Budweiser Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event this weekend at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
The driver line-up for the No. 9 car beyond Martinsville is to be determined, a statement from RPM said.
Earlier this season, it was announced that Kahne had signed to drive for Hendrick Motorsports in 2012 – in the No. 5 car after Mark Martin’s contract expired.
That left his 2011 plans up in the air. However, Kahne subsequently agreed to drive for Red Bull Racing next season.
His dismissal by Petty allowed Kahne to move to Red Bull early.
“With our agreement only being for one year, there is a great sense of urgency to get started on 2011,” Jay Frye, Red Bull Racing Teamís vice president and general manager, said. “With Kasey coming earlier than planned, we are excited to have a five-race head start.”
For Kahne, the Martinsville weekend allows him to get acclimated with Red Bull Racing Team cars and personnel. He, crew chief Jimmy Elledge and the No. 83 crew open the weekend with practice Friday at 11:30 a.m. ET.
Kahne had reportedly been squabbling with RPM officials in recent weeks. On Saturday night, he refused to get back into the car after it was fixed because of a crash. He said he was ill and that was the reason he did not get back into the car.
He did, however, run in a foot race the next morning.
Kahne has won 11 Cup races in his career, which started in 2004. He has won three poles this season but no races. His last victory came at Atlanta Motor Speedway last fall.
He failed to make the Chase this season. He left Charlotte 21st in points.2 Comments