By Toby Christie (Originally appeared on RubbingsRacing.com)
The Lebron James announcement has burried the Kasey Kahne saga deep in the sports headlines. However there are now some really intriguing plot twists as to where he will drive next season.
According to Sirius NASCAR Radio’s facebook page, Randy Pemberton has said that Mark Martin would be moving to Red Bull Racing in 2011, while Kasey Kahne would successfully make his move over to Hendrick Motorsports to drive the five car.
Red Bull Racing has been rumored in the past as trying to switch to Chevrolet, and if this rumor has any substance that may actually be a real possibility soon.
However to people saying the rumor is completely true, I say not so fast.
Sure Mark would provide leadership that a team as young as Red Bull desperately needs, but let me ask a few key questions.
- Does Mark Martin fit the Red Bull mold? At 50 years old, Mark Martin doesn’t quite fit the energy drink gulping athletes that Red Bull likes to promote. If you remember this is precisely the reason that A.J. Allmendinger was tossed out in favor of Scott Speed. So if this rumor has any truth to it I actually would believe the 30-year-old Kahne would be the better fit at Red Bull for 2011.
- If Mark will not be in the five car next season, why does he so adamently continue to say he will be in the five car next season?Martin is fresh off of a five win campaign in 2009 and a second place finish in the point standings… Not only that, but he is still in reach of the chase for 2010. He continues to mention how much fun he is having, and he has great rapport with Alan Gustafson. Why would he lie about where he’ll be next year?
- Why would he abandon a proven winner for an unknown at his age? Let’s face it Mark Martin’s sand is running out in the hour glass of his career. That being said why would he move from a team that has proven it can compete for a championship to go to an organization that has only recorded one chase appearance? I’m not buying this.
These are three keys as to why I don’t see Mark Martin leaving the No. 5 car before the end of next season. I will say this though, this rumor is by far the most realistic of any that have been tossed around thus far in the Kasey Kahne saga.
Many believed that Stewart-Haas Racing or Phoenix Racing would be the likely landing spots for Kahne next season, but from the beginning I really never thought that to be true.
Tony Stewart this week emphatically said that his team is not ready for expansion, and Phoenix Racing has never fielded a full-time Sprint Cup Series car…. ever.
So from the information we’ve had in front of us, and the rumors we have had to digest, I now know what my prediction is for 2011.
Red Bull Racing will form a partnership with Hendrick Motorsports as another satellite team for the racing conglomerate. Don’t forget that Hendrick has said that he would try to get Brian Vickers back someday, which in essence he would do with this partnership. Kasey Kahne will wait out Mark Martin’s one year remaining in the five car by running with Red Bull for the season. However that’s just my take on the situation, what’s yours?