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Could Kahne drive something other than a Chevrolet?
21 June 2010
Team owner Rick Hendrick acknowledged Friday that there's a possibility, albeit a remote one, that Kahne could drive another manufacturer's car next year as he waits for Mark Martin to vacate the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.
In an April 14 news conference shortly after the announcement that Kahne would drive the No. 5 car starting in 2012, Hendrick was asked whether the interim arrangement he would provide for Kahne in 2011—during the final year of Martin's contract—would be with a Chevrolet team.
"Yeah, it'll be a Chevrolet," Hendrick said definitively.
On Friday at Infineon Raceway, where Hendrick became the newest addition to the track's Wall of Fame, the answer wasn't as clear-cut.
Asked whether it was still written in stone that Kahne would be in a Chevy next year, Hendrick said, "Oh, yeah," then paused and added, "Well, I won't say … I don't know that. I think so, anyway."
That comment could indicate that Hendrick is considering options that would place Kahne with another manufacturer next year—and Hendrick allowed that there were many options available.
"I've had a lot more options than I thought I would," he said. "A lot of it is just waiting for the right time and the right deal. We've got some good options. There's new deals coming out every day. I get unbelievable calls from people in this garage. But we're just not ready to pull the trigger yet."
Hendrick addressed a report that Kahne would drive a Chevrolet owned by James Finch next year—without denying it.
"I don't where that came from," Hendrick said. "James Finch is a good friend and been a good customer of our engine shop. And I don't know how that got started."
Kahne said last week he had no knowledge of an impending deal with Finch. Kahne and Hendrick spoke briefly on Friday but did not discuss plans for next year.
"I actually talked with Mr. Hendrick this morning and we just chatted," Kahne said. "We stay in touch every week, and we didn't even cross that path. I didn't even ask anything about next year, and he didn't bring it up either. We were just talking about other stuff, so I would say there is no new news."
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