Kasey Kahne’s contract with Hendrick Motosports was set to expire at the end of the 2015 season. Rather than spend a season with analysts and fans speculating about the future of the 34-year-old driver HMS has given the winner of 17 races at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series level a three-year contract extension.
“It’s extremely gratifying to work with a driver like Kasey,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “I think the world of him both as a driver with championship-level talent and an overall terrific young man. Our whole organization has a great deal of respect for how hard he works, the professionalism he displays with our partners and the way he carries himself every day. We’re committed to winning races and competing for titles with him for many years to come.”
Kahne joined Hendrick’s organization in 2012 after signing a contract with them in 2010. During his time behind the wheel of the No. 5 car he has earned five wins.
“I’ve found a home at Hendrick Motorsports,” said Kahne who has appeared in the Sprint Cup Series Chase in each of his three years with Hendrick. “We have incredible people and partners supporting us, and I couldn’t be more excited about the direction we’re headed as a team and a company. It’s the right place for me, and I’m looking forward to being here for a long time.”
Hendrick Motorsports currently employs Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in addition to Kahne at the Cup level. Chase Elliott and Regan Smith are signed at the NASCAR Xfinity level. Exactly what Kahne’s new contract means for the future of Elliott remains to be seen.
Many have wondered if Kahne’s new deal means the end of Jeff Gordon. It is worth pointing out that Gordon will have 3M as a sponsor though the 2017. Still, Elliott is expected to run 15 races at the Cup level in 2015.