If Kasey Kahne's coming to Stewart-Haas, it's news to Smoke

Jay Busbee
April 16, 2010

And now another piece of the Kahne-Hendrick-Martin-Stewart-Haas puzzle has been revealed. (Man, this is more complicated than the last season of "Lost"!) Conventional wisdom has had Kahne cooling his heels in 2011 in a Stewart-Haas ride while he waits for Mark Martin to vacate the 5.

Nice idea. Problem is, nobody told owner Tony Stewart about it.

"We don't know anything about [Kahne to SHR]," Stewart said at a Friday press conference, his first since the Kahne announcement. "I don't have answers to everybody's questions ... Nobody's talked to me."

That would seem to complicate things, wouldn't it? That said, Stewart is completely open to the idea of a third team. "With the right opportunity, as long as we're able to focus on my car and Ryan [Newman]'s car -- with the right driver and the right sponsor, we're definitely interested."

Kahne is absolutely the right driver, and it'd be tough to imagine a more "right" sponsor than Budweiser, if in fact Kahne (or whoever) can persuade Bud to leave Richard Petty Motorsports.

Tony's own beer preferences won't be an issue. When asked about a conflict with Budweiser because of his well-known affinity for Schlitz, Smoke simply rolled his eyes and said, "Can we get a real question, please?"