In one of the least surprising surprises of the season, Hendrick Motorsports has announced that crew chief Kenny Francis will remain with his current driver Kasey Kahne once Kahne makes the jump from Red Bull Racing to Hendrick next season.
Kahne will take over the space currently occupied by Mark Martin, which thus leaves Martin's current crew chief, Lance McGrew, out of a job.
Francis and Kahne have run together since the last race of the 2005 season. They've notched 10 wins, 13 poles, 34 top fives and 71 top 10s at the Sprint Cup level. With Red Bull tottering and Kahne in need of a crew chief, the solution was an obvious one, and it's now been resolved to (almost) everyone's presumed satisfaction.
Unlike some other crew chiefs who've lost their gig of late, McGrew has expressed an intention to stick with the company in whatever capacity he's needed. Though he's taken plenty of grief, McGrew has a solid crew chief resume, with the 2003 Nationwide championship and wins in all three major series to his credit. "Lance is extremely talented and versatile," Rick Hendrick said. "He's like a member of the family, and he'll be part of our team for a long time."
Still undecided: where Martin will end up. Any ideas?