Kasey Kahne has been released from Richard Petty Motorsports following an ugly incident last week at Charlotte Motor Speedway where Kasey refused to finish the race. This is a pretty ugly story that gets a lot more complicated given the financial situation at Richard Petty Motorsports that will be discussed in a later post. For right now Kasey’s one year pilgrimage for Red Bull Racing will begin this weekend at Martinsville in the #83 car.
Kahne’s crew chief Kenny Francis, who had planned to move to Team Red Bull with him, will not move immediately as of yet. The current plan is for him to chief the #9 car now to be driven by Aric Almirola at Martinsville. However teh uncertain future of RPM moving forward may change all of that by the time the teams get to Martinsville, Virginia.
Given teh situation with Kahne and RPM this move is probably a good one. Kasey was very upset with the team over a brake issue that led to a wreck at Charlotte and he stated that it was not the first time that had happened. What this does is give the team a head start on 2011, as Kasey can adjust to how things are done at Red Bull and the team can learn how he likes the car set up. In the past early moves like this have led to success the following season.
The plan for next year is to have Kasey drive the #4 Team Red Bull car and to have the returning Brian Vickers return to the #83. The first problem with that is Morgan McClure Racing still hold the license on the #4 in NASCAR as Tony Stewart was unable to secure that number for Ryan Newman. The crew chief situation at Team Red Bull also seems to be up in the air for 2011. It looks like Ryan Pemberton who currently chiefs the #82 car will move back to Vickers team leaving Chief Jimmy Elledge and driver Scott Speed on the outside looking in.
•MTR Auto Racing