Kasey Kahne’s 2011 plans have been decided.
The Enumclaw, Washington driver will be headed to Team Red Bull in 2011. The move will put Kahne in a Red Bull Toyota for one season.
Rick Hendrick made the deal with Team Red Bull to put Kahne in competitive equipment for a season before Kahne heads to Hendrick Motorsports in 2012.
Kahne’s deal with Red Bull means that Mark Martin will officially stay with Hendrick in the #5 car for the 2011 season. Details of Kahne’s deal are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. The only thing we know for sure is that this is a one-year deal.
While this is a good move for Kahne, as it secures his status for 2011 and ensures he’ll be in competitive equipment, the deal is not so good for the future of Team Red Bull.
Team Red Bull will not get any long-term gain out of this deal, as we know Kahne will leave the team after 2011. The only thing I can figure at this time is that maybe Kahne is being brought in to replace Scott Speed at the #82, or that the team is very uncertain that its flagship driver, Brian Vickers, will be ready for the 2011 season.
But at least, for the moment, a few more pieces to the 2011 puzzle are in place.