The ink has barely dried on Hendrick Motorsports’ press release announcing that Kasey Kahne won’t return to the team in 2018, but the team seemingly already has his replacement lined up.
Hendrick is expected to name William Byron as the new driver of the No. 5 within the coming week, according to Motorsport.com. The report comes just one day after Hendrick revealed it’s releasing Kahne from the final year of his contract.
Should Hendrick, in fact, bring the 19-year-old Byron onboard next season, it would give the operation a fairly youthful Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series lineup — apart from Jimmie Johnson. Byron would slot in alongside Chase Elliott, 21, and Alex Bowman, 24, who will be taking over the No. 88 once Dale Earnhardt Jr. retires.
Byron signed a multi-year contract with Hendrick in 2016 after he set a NASCAR national series record with Kyle Busch Motorsports, winning seven races in his first season as a full-time Camping World Truck Series driver. He moved to the Xfinity Series in 2016, has won three races with JR Motorsports and currently sits second in the standings.
Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Images
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