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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Ford happy to have Kahne, but how long will it last

It was reported this week that Richard Petty Motorsports is officially a Ford operation, and the long-planned merger betweeen RPM and Yates Racing has been signed.

The team will run the #9, #19, #43 and #98 cars of Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler, A.J. Allmendinger and Paul Menard.

While hardly the most impressive lineup of drivers, there are a couple bright spots. Allmendinger has the potential to develop into a winning driver, and then of course there is Kahne.

While he’s hardly lit up the track in recent years, that's largely due to equipment issues and Kahne is an undeniable racing talent. When he gets the right equipment, he can drive away from the competition. At only 29 years old, he is someone who any team would be smart to sign for the long term.

But it’s not up to RPM. It’s up to Kahne, whose contract expires at the end of 2010.
He has made it clear that he wants to be with a team that has the potential to win races and championships. Up until now, the young RPM team hasn’t shown that ability.

Ford officials are gushing over what a coup it has been for them to gain the services of Kasey Kahne, who finished 10th in the points in 2009, but that joy may be short-lived.

If big improvements aren’t made that allow Kahne to feel confident about the future, don’t expect him to be at RPM beyond this year. Plenty of higher-caliber teams will be courting Kahne, especially with the possibility of a potential third team at Stewart-Haas Racing or a fourth team at Joe Gibbs starting in 2011.

With no shortage of suitors, Kahne will have to enjoy a magical year driving Fords for RPM to want to stick around. He’s the perfect example of a star who needs to be at a better team, and the writing is already on the wall.

While nothing is impossible, I would put the chancez of Kahne being behind the wheel of a RPM car in 2011 somewhere between slim and none.

With the marketing potential of Kahne, it’s pretty much a sure bet that a bigger, faster, stronger team will come snatch Kahne away from the Ford ranks.

They better enjoy 2010, because the excitement from Ford and RPM about having Kahne isn’t likely to last.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So how many races will Kahne have to win in order to be happy driving a Ford? 1,3, 6,10,20,30.

December 7, 2009 at 1:01 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is it that the equipment has held Kahne back but not Sadler. Why has Almendinger got all this talent, but only finished two spots in front of Sadler? As a matter of fact, he was behind Sadler until he got in a Ford for the last three races and Sadler got caught in the 96's bonehead move on pit road at Homestead.
Give Elliott a decent car and a CC with ANY COT experience and I'll bet you see massive improvement over the last three years.

December 7, 2009 at 3:41 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you ask how many races will it take for Kahne, will a lot more then he has had in the last few years, he get in the chase and with the new eng, and they can't even get good parts u buy junk and u get junk like RPM, is. and take a look at how many races RPM sports won in the last few years none just for the one race Kahne gave them this year ,good luck kane where ever you go ,

December 7, 2009 at 4:35 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont believe that Kahne is looking to win alot of the races in 2010. I think he would be happy with 3-5. What he is looking for is to have consitant strong finishes instead of winning one week and finishing 30th the next. That has always been his biggest complaint.

December 7, 2009 at 4:50 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadler... LOL. He now takes Michael Waltrip's place as the NASCAR legacy driver.

December 8, 2009 at 4:51 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's wasn't the car manufacture (Dodge's)fault for poor performance it's Gillette and the traitor Petty that can't find their butt with both hands.
Take away the win's by Kyle Busch and Toyota doesn't have as many wins as Dodge in the last two years and they have a premiere owner. Ford didn't fair any better then Dodge and Chevy is going to win more when half the field is Chevy and owned by Hedrick.
I would Like Kahne to go to Penske.

December 8, 2009 at 7:08 AM 

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