So what does that mean (my sulking over the aforementioned merchandise not included)?
Well, that should give Ford a second organisation capable of running at the front reasonably often. However, it will also leave Penske as being the sole Dodge team and, as Chevy have proven over the years, putting your eggs in more than one basket tends to give you better options should a team not be up to snuff in a particular year (DEI last year for example).
Being the top team for a manufacturer does have its perks; just look at the stunning, pre-chase, season JGR had with Kyle Busch and Toyota last year but it remains to be seen whether Penske can pull off the same kind of thing. One has to remember though that while JGR were, without a doubt, the top Toyota team, Red Bull and MWR were able to snap at their heels on the odd occasion...Dodge won't have that luxury next year now Petty have jumped ship.
The Bud man is set to become a Ford man too.
As far as I can tell, Kahne left Ford in 2003, citing the reason that they weren't giving him the support needed for him to ascend to the Cup level. Ford didn't really like that and, in the end, things turned ugly and Kasey was forced to pay an undisclosed amount to Ford as compensation. So will the old saying of 'time heals all wounds' be proven true or will salt get poured onto said wound instead? We shall see I guess.
But what about 2009, will this hinder a late season charge by Kahne?
Possibly not given it was this team who, with Evernham's help, managed to get Dodge back into NASCAR. It was Kahne who scored the new Charger's first win at Richmond in 2005 and it was also this team who lured the, arguably, most recognisible paint scheme when Budweiser became their main sponsor last year. That's not a bad list of achievements car #9 has behind them and, with Kurt Busch's recent poor form in comparison, it may very well be Kahne who provides Dodge with their best shot of a title.
And I highly doubt Dodge would mind rubbing that in Ford's nose next year if he can pull it off.