Byron will replace Kahne at Hendrick Motorsports in 2018

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) – William Byron will replace Kasey Kahne next season at Hendrick Motorsports, the latest teenager to earn a promotion to NASCAR’s top level.

The 19-year-old Byron will drive the No. 5 Chevrolet in the Cup series. Kahne and Hendrick announced their split earlier this week. Byron will be sponsored by Axalta Coating Systems and Liberty University.

Byron is in his first season in the Xfinity Series, and has victories at Iowa, Daytona and Indianapolis. He will be teammates next season with Jimmie Johnson, Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman.

NASCAR is rapidly changing, with Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and, in a matter of months, Dale Earnhardt Jr. all retiring. Former champions Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch are among those unsigned for next season. Kahne was bounced earlier this week with a year remaining on his contract – and just weeks after he won at Indianapolis.

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