Kasey Kahne optimistic about job prospects for 2018

Solenn Plantier
Août 13, 2017

Kasey Kahne said Friday that he's optimistic he'll find a ride for next season after this week's news that he wouldn't be back in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 5 Chevrolet next season.

Kahne was released from the final year of his contract with Hendrick Motorsports this week, something he was not all that surprised by. "I want to race here and if there is any opportunity I would love to talk about it, something like that". That has been really good. "Everybody's been nice and talked about their programs, and it was really cool to have those conversations". The decision left Kahne looking for a ride in 2018, though team owner Rick Hendrick indicated that he would try to aid his search.

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).

"Mr. Hendrick has really been supportive and making sure that ... you know, he wants me in a auto (next year)", said Kahne. "It didn't work out in the (No.) 5, but he wants me in another vehicle, and he wants me to be out there racing next year".

(Logano) "It's a good little mix, I think they've got over there with some younger guys, really young guys, and a very great champion". While Kahne's focus is on remaining in the top series, he also acknowledges opportunities are limited.

The Hendrick organization announced this week that 19-year-old William Byron would begin his rookie season in NASCAR's premier series next year, replacing Kahne in the No. 5 Chevy. And myself better than I've been.

"I still have that mindset, and I really hope that something works out so that I can be in a strong auto next year and enjoy racing in the series". 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 year when Dale Earnhardt Jr. won at Bristol in the No. 8 auto is something else Kahne will never forget, because it felt like thousands of fans were going to overtake the infield.

"The vibe was good; the team was good", Kahne said. Kahne said the atmosphere within the team hadn't changed.

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