CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Kasey Kahne will take his longtime crew chief with him to Hendrick Motorsports next season.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Kasey Kahne will take his longtime crew chief with him to Hendrick Motorsports next season.

Team owner Rick Hendrick announced Wednesday that Kenny Francis will crew chief the No. 5 Chevrolet that Kahne is slated to drive starting with the 2012 season. Kahne and Francis have been together since the final race of 2005.

Francis will replace Lance McGrew, who will move into a research and development role with Hendrick. He'll also be involved in special projects, which will include the development of the Chevrolet that will be used in the Sprint Cup Series beginning with the 2013 season.

"Before the season started, I told Mr. Hendrick I was open to any role he wanted me to play moving forward," McGrew said. "My goal has always been to contribute to the long-term success of this company however I can, period."