Kahne released by RPM

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 9:26 AM ET

CONCORD, N.C. -- Kasey Kahne was released from Richard Petty Motorsports, effective immediately. That opens the door for him to join Red Bull Racing for the remainder of this year instead of waiting until the start of the 2011 Sprint Cup Series season.

Aric Almirola will drive the No. 9 Ford this weekend at Martinsville Speedway, while it's possible Kahne could be in the No. 83 Toyota for Red Bull Racing.

This has been a tough season for Kahne, who is 21st in the Sprint Cup driver standings and is winless for 2010. Brake problems in last weekend's race led to an accident, causing damage to his car. Kahne, citing illness, never returned to the track to finish the race.

In April, Kahne signed a multi-year contract with Hendrick Motorsports to replace Mark Martin in the No. 5 Chevrolet in 2012.

Kahne, who has recorded 11 wins, made the championship Chase in 2006 and '09.


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