Kasey Kahne: I Didn't Demand Kenny Francis Join Hendrick Motorsports

Kasey Kahne wants to clear up a misconception some fans might have: He didn't force Hendrick Motorsports to hire his longtime crew chief Kenny Francis.

Rather, he said, Hendrick wanted Francis to stay with Kahne after the driver suggested it.

Kahne and Francis have remained together from their time at Evernham/Gillett/Richard Petty Motorsports to Red Bull Racing to now at Hendrick, where they start anew in 2012.

But while Kahne is happy he and Francis have been able to stay a pair, it wasn't a package deal or something he required of Hendrick.

"I had a question earlier today: 'Was this something you demanded of Kenny Francis be your crew chief?' It really wasn't," Kahne said. "When I was talking to Mr. Hendrick – when we were getting the deal done – I told him, 'Man, Kenny is really good. He should be part of this place. It would be great if he was my crew chief.'

"And they're like, 'Yeah, we're going to look at it. We're going to figure it out.' And from there it was all them wanting Kenny Francis."

Kahne praised the organization for welcoming Francis so quickly and helping him fit in with the other crew chiefs.

"I think together, we should all be able to grow more than where we've been in the past, for sure," Kahne said.

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