Hendrick Motorsports announced this week that they have signed Kasey Kahne to a contract, and that he will take over the #5 ride in 2012 after Mark Martin leaves it. Yes, leaves it. I can't say *retires* with that guy.
Interesting that Kahne signed a deal that's almost two years out. He will leave RPM at the end of this year ---maybe earlier with their financial situation--- then HMS will find him a one year deal with one of their racing appendages. Maybe JR Motorsports, or maybe Stewart-Haas Racing.
Hendrick could also have him in one of their cars in 2011. Martin might be persuaded to go to one of those satellite teams or, there are rumors that Dale Earnhardt Jr might ask for his release and go to another team. No doubt Hendrick would do it for Jr, even with all his tee shirt sales. Of course, Budweiser or another huge sponsor would have to come with Kahne to replace Jr's sponsors.
Aric Almirola lost his ride in the Phoenix Racing #09 this week, and Mike Bliss jumped in it before the seat was cold. Bliss left Tommy Baldwin Racing to return to Phoenix Racing, for about the fifth time. Johnny Sauter takes over in the TBR #36. Also this week, Kelly Bires was unassed from the seat in the JR Motorsports #88 NNS Chevy. He and crew chief, Tony Eury Sr, did NOT get along. Eury Sr is related to JRM's top execs, so guess who had to go.
Messin' With Texas
Sunday's race will be Tony Stewart's 400th Cup start. He has two championships and 37 wins in the series dating back to 1999 when he was the Rookie of the Year.
Charley Pride will perform the National Anthem on Sunday. Texas, always on the cutting edge of the music biz.
Ten years ago, rookie Dale Earnhardt Jr won his first Cup race, right here at TMS. Anyone remember when he won his last Cup race?
Jeff Gordon won this race last year. He has won on every Sprint Cup track except Homestead.
Carl Edwards has won three times at Texas. He hasn't won anywhere in over a year.
Four drivers have appeared in every Cup races at TMS, Bobby Labonte, Jeff Burton, Mark Martin, and Jeff Gordon. Who, of the four, has not won a race there?
In The Tunnel
Shirtless bicyclist, and Carl Edwards' hero, Lance Armstrong is testing aerodynamics in a wind tunnel in Race City, USA, Mooresville, NC. The facility is located in Mooresville due to it's close proximity to most of the NASCAR race teams, and it usually serves as a race car testing facility, although Bodyne bob sleds have been tested there also.