MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- Kasey Kahne drove a Dodge in 2009. He's driving a Ford in 2010. He's under contract to drive a Chevrolet in 2012. So why wouldn't he drive a Toyota in 2011 to complete the rounds among manufacturers in NASCAR's top national series?
Kahne will drive a Red Bull Racing Team Toyota in 2011, the team announced Tuesday.
"We were fortunate to have the opportunity to hire a very talented driver for the 2011 season and we took it," said Jay Frye, Red Bull Racing Team vice president and general manager. "This is a unique situation that doesn't happen every day. Kasey is a perfect fit for our company, team and Red Bull."
Kahne, 30, owns an impressive Cup Series résumé. He has 11 wins, 17 poles, 47 top-five and 84 top-10 finishes and twice was a Chase participant in 2006 and 2009.
"This opportunity places me with an established, competitive team that has proven they can win races and make the Chase," Kahne said. "I have great respect for Red Bull, so to have the opportunity to drive for Red Bull Racing Team in 2011 is a great fit for me, both personally and professionally. It feels good to be able to finally put this to rest and focus my energy on finishing the season strong for the No. 9 team and our sponsors."
"This obviously all happened very quickly," Frye added. "Over the next month, we will finalize the specific team details."
Red Bull Racing Team's final driver lineup for 2011 will be confirmed later this year.
Kahne, who will join Hendrick Motorsports in 2012, was without a team for 2011 becuase Hendrick has four drivers under contract for next season -- Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Mark Martin.
NASCAR rules limit an owner to no more than four cars.
Kahne, who is in the final year of his contract with Richard Petty Motorsports, signed with Hendrick in April. Kahne will take over the No. 5 car once Martin fulfills his contract.
Speed, in his second full year with the team, is 27th in the Cup Series standings.
Vickers has been sidelined since May for treatment of blood clots. He will not know until November if he will be able to return behind the wheel of the No. 83 for next season.