"I'd like to thank Rick and everyone at Hendrick Motorsports for their hard work and dedication, along with providing me a great opportunity and success over the last six years", Kahne, who most recently won July 23 at Indianapolis, said.
Kahne, 37, will complete the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series schedule for Hendrick Motorsports. "He's a tremendous teammate and person, and he has been totally dedicated to our program since Day 1". Alex Bowman, like Byron, will also be in his first full season with the team in 2018, so the future looks bright all-around for HMS. He is likely to be one of the top seeds when the playoffs begin next month.
Kasey Kahne (left) celebrates with vehicle owner Rick Hendrick after winning the NASCAR Brickyard 400 auto race last month at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis.
Kahne was so coveted by Hendrick that the organization signed Kahne more than a year before he joined the organization. Now in their sixth season together, Kahne has earned six of his 18 career points-paying Cup victories with the No. 5 team.
Kahne says "finishing strong is our top priority".
Primary sponsors of the No. 5 auto - Great Clips and Farmers Insurance - will depart the team at the end of the season. His best finish in the standings was fourth in 2012, his first year at Hendrick. And there's no guarantee RCR's third entry will be filled in 2018. Kenseth, the 2003 champion, is on the market because Joe Gibbs Racing replaced him in '18 with Erik Jones.