|NY DAILY NEWS|
Many in the NASCAR world were shocked by the news that Stewart-Haas Racing would change manufacturers from Chevrolet to Ford, beginning with the 2017 Sprint Cup Series season.
SHR co-owner/driver Tony Stewart has driven a General Motors car in all but one of his 18 seasons in NASCAR's premier division and has always been known as a Bowtie-guy. But Stewart, who will retire at the end of this season, will no longer be driving. No conflict there.
Enter the #5 car driven by Kasey Kahne. The 35-year-old is popular, but the vultures have been circling for some time. Team owner Rick Hendrick extended Kahne's deal (his contract now runs through 2018), but so far, that job security hasn't translated into better results.
Being that there has to be some tension between SHR and Hendrick Motorsports with the termination of the engine/chassis relationship after this year, a swap of sorts seems like a good move for both drivers and race teams. Harvick would be a great addition to the Hendrick racing stable and frankly would help people stop adding the "s" to Hendrick. Harvick drives for Hendrick. It's not Harvicks so it might help people stop saying Hendricks. But I digress.
The move of Kahne is an interesting one as he has driven for Ford on numerous occasions before and does have 17 victories. Kahne, like Harvick, is also a good friend of Stewart. So far, friendships have not been damaged by "business." Ryan Newman was also a good friend of Smoke and he moved on to RCR and remains close with Tony.
Harvick slides over to Hendrick, Kahne is released from his deal and hops in the #4. Everybody's happy.
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