Right now in NASCAR, one of the biggest stories is the recent announcement of Kasey Kahne leaving RPM at the end of 2010 and moving to Hendrick Motorsports to drive the #5 Chevrolet in 2012. However this move still leaves a lot of unanswered questions. So today I’m going to give you my opinion on this move and the unanswered questions.
1. Is Kasey Kahne moving to Hendrick Motorsports to drive the #5 Chevrolet in 2012 a good move for him?
Yes, it is. I believe Kasey Kahne has a huge amount of talent and he just needs the right people and equipment behind him to get him to victory lane and win a championship and Hendrick Motorsports can give him that.
Now I hear it time and time again, NASCAR is a performance driven sport and business and each driver, crew, crew chief, team, owner, person has to be doing his/her job and especially with the driver, he/she has to be winning, getting, top 5’s, top 10’s and championships. So with that, I believe that Hendrick Motorsports is the place he needs to be, they are the best right now.
However I will say that I believe that Kahne would have been successful if he joined Roush-Fenway Racing, RCR or Joe Gibbs Racing as well. But Hendrick Motorsports is still the team on top right now.
2. Where will Kahne drive in 2011 as the #5 Chevrolet does come available until 2012?
Is this interesting, all we know right now is that Kahne will be leaving RPM at the end of this season (2010) and driving the #5 in 2012. However Rick Hendrick has said that it falls on his shoulders to get Kahne a ride in 2011.
I believe that Hendrick has several options and just because he can’t add a fifth car at HMS, doesn’t mean his out of options. There is a third car at Stewart-Haas Racing (which gets engines and cars from Hendrick), Phoenix Racing (which is where they put Brad Keselowski in 2009 for several races which included 1 win at Talladega). He can also run a Cup team out of JR Motorsports if need be as well as Kahne’s race shop. Hendrick can also talk to another raceteam. But right now, your guess is as good as mine.
3. What happens to Mark Martin in 2012?
Mark Martin has said he isn’t retiring from racing, but is leaving the #5 Chevrolet in good hands. I believe Mark Martin would be a great driver for Stewart-Haas Racing’s third team (if Stewart wants one) or a start up Cup Team at JR Motorsports (if Dale Jr. wants one) or another team. Mark Martin is a class act driver and I don’t want him to retire or leave racing and time soon.
However I do think he will drive in the Nationwide Series or Truck Series in 2012 or beyond. And I see him at JR Motorsports in the #88. I also see Dale Jr. at JR Motorsports in 2013 as he has a 5-year contract at Hendrick, that’s what I remember it to be.
4. What happens to Richard Petty Motorsports with Kasey Kahne leaving?
Basically Kahne leaving puts them in a bad spot, Kahne was RPM’s star driver. However this will not be the last domino to fall at RPM, but I have no idea where they go from here for RPM that raceteam needs help…
Related article on the internet that is interesting to read on RPM -- Where Does RPM Go From Here?
5. Should Richard Petty step away from NASCAR and protect his legacy?
I believe Richard Petty needs to leave RPM, this isn’t Petty Enterprises anymore, nor is it his team. Gillette was just looking for name to run the team on. But Petty shouldn’t leave NASCAR. Petty is huge for the sport and NASCAR needs him
Related article on the internet that is interesting to read on Petty -- Richard Petty should step away from NASCAR and Protect his Legacy.
6. Is Hendrick Motorsports becoming a Monopoly in NASCAR?
NO, that’s it right there, no. I could leave it there, but I can’t, I need to give a reason why. Yes Hendrick Motorsports in 2010-2011 and 2012 will have some of the biggest named drivers in NASCAR with 4-time consecutive Cup Series Jimmie Johnson, 4-time Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin and NASCAR’s most popular driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. Plus 2-time Cup Series champion Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman over at Stewart-Haas Racing (who gets Hendrick equipment) and future star Kasey Kahne.
However you have Roush-Fenway Racing, RCR, Michael Waltrip Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, Penske racing and more in NASCAR and they have several hot named drivers to in their camps. And with NASCAR’s four-team rule, the answer is no, Hendrick isn’t not a monopoly; he’s just good with his raceteam and people.
What do you think?