Kahne says he'll explore options for '11
HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Kasey Kahne is strongly considering bolting Richard Petty Motorsports after his contract expires next season because of the instability surrounding the organization and will start shopping around for a new team in January.
Kahne has been disgruntled with many parts of RPM this season, including a planned merger with Yates Racing that has yet to happen. Kahne says the company needs to become focused and resolve its lingering issues in the offseason.
"The ups and downs of the team has made it difficult for me to really say, 'Man, I'm going to be here for 10 years,' " Kahne said Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. "I really don't know what's going to happen."
Kahne said he has not heard from majority owner George Gillett Jr. about a new contract.
Kahne has given the struggling organization a huge boost this season with two victories and a spot in the Chase for the championship. He finished 38th in the Chase opener, has not been a factor and is in 10th place entering Sunday's finale.
"I don't feel like I need to be done racing for the year," Kahne said. "I'm still pretty excited at where we're at right now. ... I think the season needs to get over with for the management side of things and just figure out exactly what we're doing, get us pointed in the right direction so that the teams can start working and preparing for 2010."
The team has been plagued by problems since it was formed in January from the merger between Gillett-Evernham Motorsports and Petty Enterprises.
RPM didn't have enough new engines for Kahne to use full time, and the team decided to shift from Dodge to Ford next season. RPM fielded only two fully funded cars all season -- Kahne and Elliott Sadler. The team pieced together funding for AJ Allmendinger and Reed Sorenson, and both drivers have forfeited salary or race winnings to help keep their teams afloat.
Kahne took owner Richard Petty to Victory Lane for the first time in 364 races by winning on the road course at Infineon Raceway. It was the first time a Petty-owned car won a race since John Andretti's 1999 victory at Martinsville. Kahne helped secure his spot in the Chase in early September when he won at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
He hopes a third win -- even it's overshadowed by Jimmie Johnson's fourth straight Cup title -- will put a satisfying end to a tumultuous season.
Kahne realizes the offseason might not bring him any answers.
"I used to try and stay in the loop, and then things don't happen that they say will," Kahne said. "It's up to them what happens. They do their things, and I'll do mine."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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