Friday, June 18, 2010
Hendrick assessing options for Kahne
By David Newton
SONOMA, Calif. -- Rick Hendrick says he has a lot more options for Kasey Kahne in 2011 than he expected when he first signed the Richard Petty Motorsports driver in April.
The owner of Hendrick Motorsports offered no timeline for when a decision might be made, even though he originally said a deal should be in place within 90 days.
"A lot of it is just waiting for the right time and the right deal," Hendrick said Friday at Infineon Raceway after being inducted into the track's Wall of Fame. "I haven't been in a hurry. We've got some good options and there are new deals coming out every day. I get unbelievable calls from people in this garage. We're just not ready to pull the trigger yet."
Hendrick discounted a report that said Kahne would drive the 09 car for James Finch and Phoenix Racing next year before replacing Mark Martin in the No. 5 at HMS in 2012. That report also said Martin could take over part ownership of Phoenix Racing in 2012.
Phoenix Racing officials said no conversations with Hendrick have taken place.
"I don't know where that rumor came from," Hendrick said.
Kahne said he and Hendrick spoke on Friday and that his 2011 situation wasn't part of the conversation.
"I didn't even ask anything about next year and he didn't bring it up, either," Kahne said. "We were just talking about other stuff, so I would say there is no new news."
Among the speculated possibilities for Kahne next year, in addition to Phoenix Racing, have been Stewart-Haas Racing and Red Bull Racing. Hendrick did say that Kahne would be in a Chevrolet, and Red Bull currently fields Toyotas.
"The biggest problem with us, with me and the whole situation is I want to make the right decision for him and our company," Hendrick said. "I'm not really procrastinating as much as I'm trying to let everything unfold."
David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.