Kasey Kahne Racing intact: Despite rumors, Daryn Pittman and Brad Sweet will return in 2016

By Jeremy Elliott | jelliott@pennlive.com
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on November 05, 2015 at 4:58 PM, updated November 05, 2015 at 5:05 PM

CONCORD, N.C.: Kasey Kahne Racing representative Justin Adams hasn't heard the rumors flying around Sprint Car circles the last two months.

Really, it's hard to believe. Especially when you consider the chatter has ramped up over the last couple weeks.

There has been rumblings that Daryn Pittman was leaving KKR, getting fired, or whatever sounded good in the moment. It was also rumored that the organization was cutting one of its two teams for 2016.

Adams confirmed Thursday in the pit area at The Dirt Track at Charlotte that Pittman is still with the team and that KKR, as an organization, is not downsizing.

"Nothing is changing," Adams said. "We just did a photo shoot with Great Clips for the 2016 season, and Daryn is still the driver and Kale [Kahne] is still the crew chief.

"Kolten Gouse is moving on, so we are currently looking for a tire guy. Other than that, the No. 9 team is status quo."

Continued Adams, "The funny thing about KKR is that we are the last people to hear about it. We want to be respected by all, but people tend to trash talk or talk about other things. It's human nature. One guy hears this or that, and it spins out of control."

The stability extends to the Brad Sweet, who pilots a second KKR entry. Plans are still in place for the team to stay with World of Outlaws series.

Adams did admit there are some detail to hammer out with sponsorship for the second team. But he also indicated it wouldn't change plans for next season.

"We are trying to work out a few deals and tie up some odds and ends with Razorback and Ollie's, but the car will be on the road full time next year and Brad Sweet is going to be the driver.

"We just need to hash some things out with [crew chief] Lee Stauffer, but I'm pretty confident he is coming back."

The speculation seems silly when you consider the past success of Pittman and Sweet's surge in 2015.

Pittman joined KKR in 2013 and captured the World of Outlaws title. In three years with the organization, he has 27 victories and 124 top-five finishes.

Things have been a little more difficult for Pittman and Co. in 2015. He was injured in early April, and the team struggled a bit with some of its packages. Still, they have mustered five wins and are fourth in the point standings.

Sweet also has five wins. His recent success with Stauffer turning the wrenches also has him positioned to finish third in the points standings in only his second full year with the series.

"It was a tough year, but when you look at it, a lot of people would die to have this year," Adams said. "It wasn't exactly up to our standards ... we were off on a few early, Daryn got hurt and we struggled with our packages.

"Still, I feel like we are finishing strong, and I'm really excited going into the offseason. I think both the No. 9 and No. 49 teams are excited, and it should be exciting 2016 season."


Victory Kahne

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