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Francis to join Kahne at Hendrick

Hendrick Motorsports announced on Wednesday that when Kasey Kahne makes his move to the organization in 2012, his crew chief, Kenny Francis, will be coming with him.

“Our people have a lot of respect for Kenny and what he’s accomplished,” team owner Rick Hendrick said. “We know the chemistry is already there with Kasey, and there’s no doubt Kenny will communicate very well with our folks.”

Francis has served as Kahne’s crew chief since the end of the 2005 Sprint Cup Series season. Together, the pairing has produced 10 race wins, 34 top-vies and 71 top-10 finishes.

“Joining Hendrick Motorsports and continuing to work with Kasey next year is an opportunity I’m excited about,” Francis said. “He’s a championship-caliber driver and good friend, and I’m looking forward to building on our relationship. Mr. Hendrick has built an impressive team and culture, and it’s going to be fun to be a part of that when the time comes.”

The Kahne-Francis duo will remain at Red Bull Racing for the remainder of the 2011 season.

“I’m very optimistic about the rest of this season and focused on getting to victory lane with the No. 4 team (at Red Bull),” Francis said. “I want to thank Jay Frye and everyone with the organization for the chance to be part of such a great group of people. We still have goals to achieve there, and those are foremost on my mind right now.”

Lance McGrew will become the odd crew chief out at HMS upon Francis’ arrival. McGrew currently works as crew chief on the No. 5 car driven by Mark Martin. According to the release from Hendrick Motorsports, McGrew will remain with the organization, focusing on research and development.

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Photo of Kenny Frances (left) and Kasey Kahne courtesy of NASCAR Media

2011_KS_July_NSCS_KahneFrancis

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