Byron will replace Kahne at Hendrick Motorsports in 2018

Rufina Vignone
Agosto 13, 2017

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — William Byron will replace Kasey Kahne next season at Hendrick Motorsports, the latest teenager to earn a promotion to NASCAR's top level.

Kahne's remarks came after opening practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Michigan International Speedway, site of Sunday's Pure Michigan 400 (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM). I want to race here, and if there's any opportunity, I'd love to talk about it.

"That's been really good".

Kahne said he owed team owner Rick Hendrick plenty during his six years with the organization.

Team owner Rick Hendrick acknowledged he would pay out the past year of Kahne's contract earlier in the week when it was announced William Byron would be replacing the driver in the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy.

Kahne admitted top-level vacancies for next season are scarce, but he holds out hope that new driving duties will develop.

"He wants me in a vehicle as well", Kahne said of Hendrick.

"I think we all know that there are not a ton of opportunity", Kahne said. "Between all that, I just really think I will be able to come up with something that will be very competitive and be able to be in the Cup Series for a while to come". Kahne and Hendrick announced their split earlier this week.

"I still have that mindset, and I really hope that something works out so that I can be in a strong vehicle next year and enjoy racing in the series".

Friday was the first time Kahne had seen his team since the news, although he texted or had phone conversations with some of them during the week. I still have that mindset and I really hope that something works out to where I can be in a strong vehicle next year and enjoy racing in this series, because I've actually enjoyed it for so long and I've lived so numerous highs of the Cup Series.

"The vibe was good; the team was good", Kahne said.

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