January 30th, 2015
Today it was announced that Farmers Insurance would continue to sponsor the #5 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports through the 2017. In the release it also says fans can help design the 2015 car Kasey Kahne will drive. What it lacks is language that indicate Kahne will be the driver for the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
Kahne’s deal with Hendrick Motorsports expires after the 2015 season and the team has Chase Elliott waiting in the wings for the next opening on the team. Many have thought that Jeff Gordon would be the first to leave because of his age and back problems. With Gordon leading the points and battling through the pains, it’s possible he might race for up to five more years.
For Kahne, he has struggled this season since losing engineer Keith Rodden to Chip Ganassi Racing. He and crew chief Kenny Francis have not been on the same page, pointing to a possible shake up in the pairing. If his struggles continue through this year and into next and Gordon keeps excelling, it might be time for Hendrick Motorsports to move on from Kahne.
It would be surprising to see them give up on a driver that they signed a full year before they could have him, but it might make better business sense. This, of course, can all go away if he can get some wins and get into the Chase this season and next.