On Sirius' The Morning Drive, SPEED's Randy Pemberton said that Mark Martin would move to Red Bull Racing in 2011, clearing the way for Kasey Kahne to move straight to Hendrick Motorsports. Pemberton didn't say which car Martin would be in. As of now, Red Bull currently has Brian Vickers contracted through 2012. Scott Speed's contract expires at the end of this season.
Pemberton's brother, Ryan, is a crew chief for Red Bull Racing. Ryan Pemberton has also worked with Martin in the past; the two teamed to nearly win the 2007 Daytona 500 when Martin ran a partial schedule.
However, it's important to note that Martin has said innumerable times that he has every intention of honoring the final year of his contract with Hendrick to drive the No. 5 car. And those comments take on additional meaning given Martin's lashing out at all the speculation during a taping for Thursday night's "Race Hub," a show on SPEED.
"I had to quit following the sport because it kinda made me sick. The media didn't understand and didn't get it and couldn't seem to deliver the message correctly. They only delivered the message they wanted to deliver, which was sensationalized ... it was disgusting."
It's unclear who or what Martin was specifically referencing, but it's important to note that speculation and "what if?" scenarios are absolutely inevitable given the situation Kahne and Hendrick Motorsports have put themselves in. If Martin is talking about that speculation and the dozens of scenarios tossed forth, Hendrick and Kahne could have announced their 2011 plans with their 2012 plans. Instead, the barn door to next year was left wide open.
As for his post-2011 plans — assuming that the status quo is kept at Hendrick for another season — Martin said that he was unsure of what was in store for 2012 and beyond.
"This time next year, if nothing suits my fancy, then I'll wait until something does. Some of that's driving and some of it's not. I'm gonna do what I wanna do, and how do I know what I want to do a year and a half from now?
Currently, no one knows — except maybe Kahne and a select few at Hendrick Motorsports — what the plans will be for Kahne in 2011. And the longer that decision takes to make, the more that the situation turns into a mini NASCAR version of LeBron-mania. And aren't we all sick of that?