Kasey Kahne is in fact employed for the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series season. Will he actually be on track is the question. This morning Hendrick Motorsports held an introductory conference call to introduce William Byron. Pretty much you stand introduction of a new driver, always wanted to be at Hendrick, excited for the future, you can create the whole thing in your head. One thing did stand out in the press conference though;
Hendrick said he is paying Kasey Kahne next year and is trying to see if he could race with a team HMS could be involved with….
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) August 9, 2017
— Caleb Whisler (@caleb_whisler) August 9, 2017
Hendrick Motorsports is paying Kasey Kahne for the 2018 season. He may not even race next season but he’s still getting paid for the season. That’s an interesting way to do business but Rick Hendrick has something else up his sleeve. Hendrick is in talks with one of their affiliates about fielding a car for Kahne in 2018. There is only one Hendrick Motorsports affiliate in the Cup Series, Chip Ganassi Racing.
It’s very unlikely that Chip Ganassi will expand to a three car operation in 2018. Hendrick had a hard time selling sponsorship for Kahne, no way Ganassi can take him on as they search for a primary sponsor for Larson. A new team could be joining the NASCAR Cup Series in 2018.
GMS Racing currently fields three Camping World Truck Series teams and one full time, one part time Xfinity teams this season. Maurice Gallagher has said this season that he is interested in expanding his operation to the Cup series. If he moves to the Cup Series the speculation is they would field a two car team, one for a rookie and the other for a veteran. That veteran could very well and likely will be Kasey Kahne should GMS make the jump.
The rookie driver would likely be Maurice Gallagher’s son Spencer who is a rookie in the Xfinity series this season. Spencer Gallagher needs more seasons in Xfinity to hone his skill but the family business wants to promote him so they’ll promote him.
BK Racing will likely fold before season’s end and with that two charters will become available. GMS Racing can swoop in, buy those charters and guarantee themselves a spot in the sport next season. Essentially they would become the new Stewart Haas for Hendrick. GMS already buys all their engines from Hendrick and purchases Xfinity cars from JR Motorsports.
Kasey Kahne will be getting paid next season whether he’s running sprint cars or Cup cars. Being in the good graces of Rick Hendrick looks like a pretty sweet deal.
Ps. The first time an Allegiant plane falls out the sky their Cup team will cease to exist. Maybe put money into the planes and not wrecked race cars for your kid.
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