Published: Tue, August 08, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Hendrick Motorsports, driver Kasey Kahne split after 6 years

Hendrick Motorsports, driver Kasey Kahne split after 6 years

"I'd like to thank Rick [Hendrick] and everyone at Hendrick Motorsports for their hard work and dedication, along with providing me a great opportunity and success over the last six years", Kahne said in a team release.

After making his NASCAR national series debut in 2015, Byron was signed to a Hendrick Motorsports development deal late previous year.

Hendrick has seventime champion Jimmie Johnson, Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman in the fold for next season.

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Hendrick Motorsports will promote William Byron to the Monster Energy Cup Series next season to replace the departing Kasey Kahne, multiple sources have confirmed to SB Nation. But the teenager's recent results - he's won three of the past seven Xfinity races and emerged as a championship favorite - along with his long-term potential and good rapport with sponsors were factors that could not be ignored.

Kahne has driven for Hendrick Motorsports since 2012. Now in their sixth season together, Kahne has earned six of his 18 career points-paying Cup victories with the No. 5 team. We still have a lot of racing left in 2017 and finishing strong is our top priority.

"He's definitely going to be in the Xfinity vehicle", Hendrick said last month at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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He opened this season with a seventh-place finish in the Daytona 500 and was fourth in Atlanta, and seemed to show he might have returned to form.

Stewart-Haas Rac- ing declined to pick up Busch's contract option, though both sides are hopeful a new deal can be reached. The youth movement is fully underway at the top level of NASCAR, and Byron's promotion is just the latest sign that it's probably just going to continue.

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