In June, Randy Pemberton reported that Mark Martin, the man who Kasey Kahne is slated to replace in the No. 5 for Hendrick Motorsports, was headed to Red Bull Racing to make way for Kahne a year early. Well, now Jim Utter of the Charlotte Observer is reporting that Kahne will be the driver likely headed to Red Bull for 2011.
Red Bull Racing has emerged as the likely place for Kasey Kahne in the 2011 Sprint Cup season, the Observer and ThatsRacin.com have learned.
Under a proposed arrangement, Kahne would drive one of Red Bull Racing's Toyotas next season as he waits to take over Hendrick's No. 5 Chevrolet in 2012, sources close to the situation confirmed Sunday.
Mark Martin, as he has maintained since news of Kahne's signing by Hendrick became public in April, would drive the No. 5 next season, his last with Hendrick.
Ray Evernham, Kahne's former owner at Gillett-Evernham Motorsports (now RPM), also speculated that Martin would step aside for Kahne in 2011, prompting Martin to bring up the topic of disrespect from the media about the situation.
After making the Chase with Brian Vickers, Red Bull's 2010 campaign has been nothing short of a struggle. Vickers has been out for the year since Dover due to blood clots, and his driving future is still uncertain. Four drivers have taken turns replacing Vickers in 2010, and Scott Speed has struggled in the No. 82 ever since coming over from Formula 1.
Red Bull General Manager Jay Frye has a good relationship with Hendrick, formerly serving as General Manager of MB2 Motorsports, which received support from HMS.
One potential stumbling block is the manufacturer, as Red Bull currently fields Toyotas. Last year, Red Bull didn't commit to a manufacturer for 2010 until August, reportedly considering a move to Chevrolet with Hendrick support.