Brickyard 400 winner Kasey Kahne will not return to Hendrick Motorsports next year, the team announced Monday.
Kahne, who is in his sixth season with the team, had a contract through next season.
Hendrick Motorsports stated that it will announce 2018 plans for its four-car operation at a later date.
“Kasey has worked extremely hard,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports, in a statement. “He’s a tremendous teammate and person, and he has been totally dedicated to our program since day one. I’ve always believed that he’s a special talent, and I know he will thrive in the right situation. We will do everything we can to finish the season as strong as we can.”
Kahne was so coveted by Hendrick that the organization signed Kahne more than a year before he joined the organization. Kahne signed with the team in April 2010 but didn’t join Hendrick until 2012 because Hendrick didn’t have room for him for the 2011 season.
Kahne has six victories since joining Hendrick in 2012. Last month’s Brickyard 400 win snapped a 102-race winless streak and qualified Kahne for the playoffs. Kahne finished a career-best fourth in the points for Hendrick in 2012 but has not finished in the top 10 in points since.
“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 said in a statement from the organization. “We won six races together, and I’m coming off of one of the biggest wins of my career at the Brickyard, which has given the (No.) 5 team a lot of momentum heading into the playoffs. We still have a lot of racing left in 2017 and finishing strong is our top priority. I look forward to what the next chapter in my career holds.”