Kasey Kahne is now officially a Red Bull Racing driver, after being released from Richard Petty Motorsports on Wednesday.

During this past weekend’s Bank of America 500 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kahne crashed after a brake failure on lap 124, sending him into the wall and to the garage for extensive repairs. According to the driver, it was the second brake issue in the last three weeks.

Kahne also had a volatile exchange with his pit crew members, going on a expletive filled tirade over the radio. He would later say that he “just lost it” and that the whole situation was “just a mess, really.”

And when his No. 9 Budweiser Ford returned to the track over 100 laps down, Kahne wasn’t behind the wheel. He was instead replaced by start and park driver JJ Yeley, who drove the car to a 38th place finish. It was Kahne’s 15th finish of 20th or worse, including four DNFs.

The following day, Kahne told the media that he “didn’t feel good enough to get back in the car.” He also said an unidentified RPM employee told him he “needed to do his part”, which Kahne obviously took offense too.

"I can't control the issues I've had this year. I don't know how many parts I've broke. If I really thought about it, I could come up with all kinds of stuff. You can't control that as a driver. I'm doing my part. I just need the car. I work as hard as anybody out there."

And on Wednesday night, the Charlotte Observer broke the news that Kahne was trying to get out of his contract with RPM and into a Red Bull Racing Toyota. Soon after that news broke, the announcement was made by Richard Petty Motorsports that Kahne was released by the company. According to the report from the Observer, Kahne was unaware that the release was coming.

Because Reed Sorenson will be racing at the Gateway International Raceway this week in his No. 32 Turner Motorsports Toyota, Kahne will take over the driving duties of the No. 83 Red Bull Racing Toyota, and will remain in the car for the last five races of the season. Aric Almirola, who was scheduled to fill in for Sorenson at Red Bull, will now pilot the No. 9 Budweiser Ford for RPM.

It’s unclear whether Marcos Ambrose, who is signed to drive the No. 19 in 2011, will take over after Martinsville. If he does, it’s possible that Bobby Labonte could then move into his 2011 ride, the No. 47 JTG Daughtery Ford.

Kahne has driven for the many incarnations of what is now Richard Petty Motorsports since 2004, and has won 11 times with the team. More on this major shake up in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is sure to come.

Thanks to Charlotte Observer, SB Nation, Racing Reference, Scene Daily, NASCAR.com and HamptonRoads.com for the quotes, information and statistics used in this piece.