Breaking News: Richard Petty Motorsports Lets Kasey Kahne Go, Aric Almirola In

Ashley McCubbinAnalyst IOctober 21, 2010

CONCORD, NC - OCTOBER 16:  Kasey Kahne pits the #9 Buidweiser Ford, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 16, 2010 in Concord, North Carolina.  (Photo by Tom Whitmore/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Tom Whitmore/Getty Images

Richard Petty Motorsports released a press release stating that they'd let Kasey Kahne go, effective this weekend at Martinsville Speedway.

The announcement comes as no surprise as following Saturday night's race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, everybody could easily tell that Kahne wasn't happy. (SEE ARTICLE)

"I was told that I needed to start doing my part, [that] is what one guy told me last night after the race," Kahne said, according to NASCAR.com, following the race. "I'm not going to say names, but I was told that I need to start doing my part. I can't control the issues I've had this year. I don't know how many parts I've broke. If I really thought about it, I could come up with all kinds of stuff.

"You can't control that as a driver. I'm doing my part. I just need the car. I work as hard as anybody out there."

Kahne also stated his displeasure with how the brakes had been this year and how he felt things were falling apart.

Anybody observing the situation could tell the situation wasn't going well as after 31 races this year, Kahne sits 21st in points with no wins, seven top fives, nine top 10s and four DNFs.

RPM also announced that Aric Almirola would be driving the No. 9 car this weekend at Martinsville Speedway, with the rest of the races to be announced at a later date.

Almirola has 30 starts in the Sprint Cup Series spanning the past four years to equal only one top 10.

Almirola, this year, has been running some Nationwide Series races for JR Motorsports and is signed for 2011; in five starts, he has one top five and three top-10s.

He also has been running the complete Camping World Truck Series schedule for Billy Ballew where he sits second in points with two wins, seven top fives and 16 top-10s in 20 races.

Almirola was set to run the Truck race on Saturday for Billy Ballew and then the Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday for Red Bull Racing. However, with this announcement, that now leaves that seat open.

So who is set to drive the No. 83 this weekend? Well, Candice Spencer reported via twitter that Red Bull Racing was looking into working out a way to allow Kahne to run the car, so this could open that door for them.

As I said on Monday, it'd be a good idea to go forward with that idea as it'd allow him to get to know the team.

It would also be a bonus if crew chief Kenny Francis gets released, as it'd also allow him to get to know everybody, along with how the RBR shop works. However, it doesn't look as if Francis will be as he told ESPN that he would be Almirola this weekend and expects to remain with the team.

"I don't want to get into any of that," Francis said of Kahne's release to ESPN. "I'll do whatever they want me to do. I won't rock the boat. All that stuff is way above me."

Though as questions slowly become answered with this scenario, there are still some questions remaining.

RBR is set to have Kahne in one car next year and Brian Vickers returning to drive the other car next year, so where does that leave Scott Speed? Either RBR goes to three teams or Speed will be the lone duck with no pond to swim in.

Jenna Fryer reports that she hears that things will work out for Speed, so likely the third-car option seems to be the one as you'd think if they were letting him go that he would've been told by now.

Scott Speed has let out nothing of any knowledge of anything via his twitter, just stating a quote from V. Wilder that says, "Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but doesn't get ya very far."

Also, with the No. 9 car free, does Marcos Ambrose jet from JTG-Daughtry Racing early to get his new ride? He currently sits 26th in points with two top-10s.

Ambrose has been very set that he will finish the year with his current team, however Kahne said that before and look where we are.

Sources have told ESPN that there were plans in the works to have the switches for next season start early with Kahne in the No. 83, Ambrose in the No. 9 and Labonte to the No. 47, yet Kahne's sponsorship obligations were stopping that. With those out of the way, could it happen early?

This story was updated 10/21/2010 at 10:55AM


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