Will Kasey Kahne Stay With Petty Motorsports After The End Of 2010?

Travis SmithAnalyst IIFebruary 25, 2010

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 11:  Kasey Kahne, driver of the #9 Budweiser Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Gatorade Duel at Daytona International Speedway on February 11, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jason Smith/Getty Images

2004 was Kasey Kahne's rookie year with Evernham Motorsports at the time, Kahne really showed a lot of potential that season with several top 5 runs and a chance to qualify to the Chase. Ever since that season, Kasey Kahne has really been a hit or miss driver the last several seasons either due to the equipment issues or driver errors, Kasey hasn't really been a championship contender in his entire career.

Kasey Kahne’s contract with Petty Motorsports will be up at the end of this season and folks have already began to speculate where this young prospect will end up at for the 2011 season in NASCAR. Kasey has made the chase only twice in his career but he has won eleven times in his career including a six win season in 2006. Kasey has a lot of potential still and he has proven how good he is on several occasions from 2005 where he dominated in Richmond to earn his first career win to 2009 where he really brought back Richard Petty Motorsports to the spotlight by making the Chase and earning 2 huge wins along the way. Kasey has proven to fans that he is a championship caliber driver but he just doesn’t seem to be with the right team in order to win a championship.

Kasey has been in the 9 car his entire career but the team itself has went through so many changes in the seven years of existence either it has been crew changes or ownership changes, the point is that Kasey’s team has always been in a state of mass confusion that has caused this young man not to be a challenger for a championship in the Sprint Cup Series.

The NASCAR community have heard that Kasey is considering himself a free agent after this season so teams are already lining up to offer this kid a ride but where would he be able to go in order to be a championship contender? Well we know that Stewart-Haas Racing is trying to expand to three cars for the 2011 season and that could be a good fit for Kasey except that Kasey and Tony Stewart haven’t always see eye to eye on things and that could cause some tension for that young team. So maybe Stewart-Haas Racing won’t be the team to sign Kasey, instead he could sign with Joe Gibbs Racing right? Well people saw what happened to Richard Childress Racing last year when they expanded to four cars so the motto “less is more”, may apply to Gibbs and if that is the case then there just simply won’t be any room for Kasey.

There is one organization that may have room for Kasey if they decide to make a driver change; do you know which organization I am talking about? Well I will tell you it is an organization that has never won a Sprint Cup championship. Still stumped, well here it is, it is Penske Racing. Yes Roger Penske has never won a Sprint Cup title but yet he has been a classy organization that runs well every year. They also are the only team under the Dodge banner so when Goodyear does tire tests, they have to pick a Penske team since only one team from a manufacturer can go. That seems to really help because of the no testing policy and plus it could give Kasey a great chance to drive some great equipment.

Kurt Busch went to Penske in 2006 and has really came into his own as a driver plus there is a young man with a lot of talent driving that 12 car named Brad Keselowski so the opportunities to be a championship contender are great if Kasey decides to join Penske next year. Sam Hornish Jr has really out lived his usefulness in the 77 car so maybe it’s time that Penske releases him so that he can go back to the IRL series where he can be a competitive driver again. If Penske could sign Kasey then he would get a great driver but also he would get more sponsorship offers because Kasey is so popular with the fans and he is a proven winner on the track.

I know its early to be talking about silly season but I would not be shocked to see Kasey Kahne in the 77 Dodge next season and being a contender for his first title.