As part of the electronic fuel-injection test Monday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kasey Kahne got behind the wheel of a Hendrick Motorsports Chevy for the first time. Kahne will replace Mark Martin in the No. 5 Chevy next year, with Farmer’s Insurance appearing as a sponsor. Kahne said:
There were more differences than I expected. But then I thought back to Red Bull, and how much different that was from the prior year [at Richard Petty Motorsports], and how the cars are. It’s all little things, but they keep adding up and it kind of takes time to kind of figure out that feel.
Unlike most NASCAR silly season deals, Kahne was signed by HMS a full season before he would actually make his first start for the team. This led to constant speculation of what Martin would do. He said he plans to drive in 2012.
Rumors ranged from joining Red Bull Racing to starting his own team or purchasing a team. He denied that rumor. Ultimately, Kahne ended up signing a one-year deal with RBR. Martin still has yet to announce his 2012 plans, but he is confident he will have a ride. Many speculate that he will drive for Stewart Haas Racing, sharing a ride with Danica Patrick.