Kasey Kahne Signs a Multi-Year Deal With Hendrick Motorsports

Travis Smith@TravisLeeSmith2Analyst IIApril 14, 2010

PHOENIX - APRIL 09:  Kasey Kahne, driver of the #9 Budweiser Ford, looks on from the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Subway Fresh Fit 600 at Phoenix International Raceway on April 9, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Kasey Kahne, the hottest potential free agent in NASCAR entering this season, has signed a multiyear agreement to join Hendrick Motorsports, multiple sources close to the negotiations confirmed to ESPN.com on Tuesday.

It was reported initially that Kahne's deal with Hendrick would begin in 2011, but sources said details of the partnership -- including when Kahne will begin driving for the team and in which car -- are still being finalized.

Sources confirm that Mark Martin will drive the No. 5 car through the 2011 season.

Kahne is in the final year of his contract with Richard Petty Motorsports, and plans to finish the season in the No. 9 Ford, sources said. It is unknown whether Kahne's sponsor, Budweiser, will accompany him to HMS.

RPM sent out a release acknowledging Kahne would not be renewing his contract after this season.

"Kasey is a very talented driver and I have enjoyed watching him race. We all wish him nothing but the best and hope he succeeds in anything he chooses to do," team owner Richard Petty said.

There is room for Martin and Kahne in the Hendrick family. Stewart Haas Racing receives chassis, engines and technical support from HMS. So Kahne could be housed there until Martin's contract was up.

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In 2008 Dale Earnhardt Jr. signed a five-year deal with Hendrick. Jimmie Johnson last year signed an extension through 2015, and Jeff Gordon has a lifetime contract.

Hendrick Motorsports officials had no comment.

Calls placed to Kahne, who turned 30 last weekend, and to his agent were not returned.


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