Kasey Kahne not returning to NASCAR for final races

by Justin Nguyen

Kasey Kahne‘s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career has ended.

On Tuesday, Kahne announced he will not be able to contest the final five races of the 2018 season. He had missed the last five events after suffering from dehydration issues following a twenty-fourth-place run in the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Despite testing a car at Charlotte Motor Speedway, he was not medically cleared to return.

“To say I’m disappointed after receiving the results that I was not medically cleared for the remainder of the season following a test session at Charlotte Motor Speedway last week is an understatement,” Kahne stated in a tweet. “It was my hope that everything would go well and I would be able to finish out the season strong in the #95 for Leavine Family Racing. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.”

“Out of the race car I am perfectly healthy, I feel great, and the doctors have determined that I have no underlying health problems. My body just can’t handle extended periods of time in the race car and we weren’t able to control the sweat ratio to keep me hydrated enough to prevent any permanent damage to my body.”

In August, Kahne announced his intention to retire from full-time Cup racing, citing his intention to spend more time with his family and compete more frequently in sprint cars, owning a team in the World of Outlaws series, Kasey Kahne Racing. A month later, shortly before the start of the playoffs, he reported his decision to skip the next few races due to dehydration issues.

Credit: NKP

2018 is Kahne’s first with Leavine Family Racing after spending the last six seasons with Hendrick Motorsports. At the time of his medical problems, he was twenty-seventh in points. Regan Smith has driven the #95 in the five races since, recording a best finish of twelfth at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“We’re incredibly thankful for the time with had this year with @KaseyKahne,” LFR posted on Twitter. “As much as we hate to see his tenure in the No. 95 end this way, we’re grateful for the experience he brought to this team.

“Thank you for being such a great driver, friend, & ambassador for this sport!”

After spending two seasons in the NASCAR Busch Series (now Xfinity Series), Kahne joined Evernham Motorsports for the 2004 Cup season. That year, he burst onto the circuit with an impressieve rookie campaign that saw five runner-up finishes and Rookie of the Year honors. He backed it up with seven wins over the next two years, including six in 2006 and an eighth-place points finish. He stayed with the team in the #9 car until 2010, where he moved to Team Red Bull for the late 2010 and 2011 seasons.

In 2012, he signed with Hendrick’s #5 car, where he won six races. In 529 career Cup races, he has 18 wins, 93 top fives, 176 top tens, and 27 poles.

“NASCAR has been a great home for me for 15 years and I wish the #95 the best of luck these last few races,” Kahne said.

“I am looking forward to getting back in a sprint car soon. With much shorter races and open cockpits, there is no issue with my health or hydration with that type of racing.

“See you all soon at the dirt tracks, and thank you for sticking with me over the years.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was Kahne team-mate at Hendrick, tweeted“I know @kaseykahne would love to finish the season. I appreciate that he’s made a smart decision based on his doctors advice to skip the remaining events. I feel lucky to have been teammates. It gave us the opportunity to become great friends.”

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