Kasey Kahne's year-plus stay in a Red Bull Toyota starts early - he'll begin driving the No. 83 this weekend at Martinsville Speedway, Red Bull Racing Team announced Thursday.
Kahne was released from Richard Petty Motorsports on Wednesday night, paving the way for the 30-year-old to drive the No. 83 in the final five races of the 2010 NASCAR season, beginning with Sunday's Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway.
Kahne will drive a Red Bull Toyota full-time in 2011 before moving to Hendrick Motorsports in 2012.
"With our agreement only being for one year, there is a great sense of urgency to get started on 2011," said Jay Frye, Red Bull Racing Team's vice president and general manager. "With Kasey coming earlier than planned, we are excited to have a five-race head start."
For Kahne, the Martinsville weekend allows him to get acclimated with Red Bull Racing Team cars and personnel. He, crew chief Jimmy Elledge and the No. 83 crew open the weekend with practice Friday at 11:30 a.m. ET.