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Sunday, June 21, 2009
Hendrick set to meet with Keselowski

By Terry Blount
ESPN.com

SONOMA, Calif. -- Sprint Cup team owner Rick Hendrick said he plans to meet with Nationwide Series driver Brad Keselowski this week to discuss his plans for moving up to Sprint Cup in 2010.

Hendrick mentioned two possible options for Keselowski -- a third car at Stewart-Haas Racing, which is affiliated with Hendrick Motorsports, or a chance to stay at JR Motorsports if Dale Earnhardt Jr. decides to move his Nationwide team to Cup next year.

"We're looking at different options with some of our external situations with other teams," Hendrick said Sunday at Infineon Raceway. "I told Brad that I want him to have the best opportunity. If we can't give it to him, then I want him to have the best."

Keselowski, who finished third Saturday night in the Nationwide race at Milwaukee, told reporters at that event that he would love to drive a third Stewart-Haas car next year.

Tony Stewart said Friday a third car for his team is a possibility for 2010. Stewart's team is a satellite operation with Hendrick Motorsports, leasing engines from Hendrick.

Hendrick also said Earnhardt Jr. is considering moving his Nationwide operation to Cup in 2010. Either way, Keselowski would stay in the Hendrick family, so to speak, if he signed with Stewart-Haas Racing or stayed at JR Motorsports.

"Brad wants to do something that is somehow associated with our company," Hendrick said. "We're working on it and hopefully in the next few weeks we'll have something sorted out. He'll be running Cup [in 2010]. Whether he'll be running them all or whether he'll be running 75 percent of them or what, I don't know."

Keselowski, 25, is one of the most sought-after young drivers in NASCAR. He ranks third in the Nationwide standings this season, but he is the highest ranked driver who isn't a full-time Cup competitor.

Keselowski earned his first Cup victory at Talladega in April.

Terry Blount covers motorsports for ESPN.com.