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Report: Kahne Signs Multi-Year Deal With HMS

ESPN [1], citing anymous sources, is reporting that Kasey Kahne, arguably the hottest free agent available, has signed a mutliyear deal with Hendrick Motorsports starting in 2011. Details are trickling out slowly.

Logic would indicate that Kahne will take over the No. 5 car, currently driven by Mark Martin. Martin has a contract through to the 2011 season, but some expect him to retire, given this news. Some think Dale Earnhardt Jr, the driver who has had inconsistent results since joining HMS in 2008, may be moved. Dale Jr, however, has three years left remaining on his deal, so it’s unlikely that Dale Jr will leave HMS. That said, stranger things have happened.

Jimmie Johnson is signed through 2015 while Jeff Gordon has a lifetime contract, so there’s no chance that either of them would move for Kahne.

It is being reported that Kahne could go to Stewart Haas Racing, which has an affiliation with HMS, for a year before moving to the No. 5. A while ago, I wrote that there were four potential seats for him [2], if he did leave Richard Petty Motorsports. SHR was one of those teams, but I never thought he would go there while waiting for a HMS ride. No one could have predicted this, considering all HMS drivers were signed at least through 2011. But as I said before, stranger things have happened.

Update: The Charlotte Observer is reporting that Kahne will drive the No. 5 car starting in 2012.

FoxSports [3] is reporting that Kahne will drive for Stewart Haas Racing in 2011, along with sponsor Budweiser. But, there is some skepticism as to where this is true.