Defending Brickyard 400 Champion Kasey Kahne To Miss Race On Sunday, Regan Smith To Sub

Kasey Kahne hopped out of his car after last Sunday’s Southern 500 at the Darlington Raceway and immediately went to the infield care center. He was treated to heat exhaustion. Unfortunately, due to still feeling the effects of that illness, Kahne will not be able to defend his 2017 Brickyard 400 win this weekend.

Leavine Family Racing announced the move Thursday evening, namin Regan Smith as the No. 95 Chevrolet’s replacement driver for Sunday’s Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard (2 p.m. ET/NBCSN/IMS Radio Network/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Kahne, was treated for what the team termed extreme heat exhaustion after finishing 24th in last Sunday’s event at Darlington Raceway. According to the team, Kahne later consulted with physicians, who recommended he sit out this weekend’s race pending further evaluations.

The team indicated that no timetable has been set for Kahne’s return to competition, but that representatives would provide an update next week ahead of the postseason opener at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Kahne, 38, announced Aug. 16 that this season would be his final full-time campaign in NASCAR competition. He won last year’s 400-miler at Indianapolis in his final season with Hendrick Motorsports before his switch to the Leavine Family Racing organization this year. If you remember right, Kahne also had to be treated for exhaustion after last year’s win at Indy too.

Smith, who has most recently served as a pit reporter for FOX Sports, last competed in the Monster Energy Series in 2017 as a substitute with Richard Petty Motorsports for the injured Aric Almirola. The 34-year-old has been a popular pick as a fill-in driver in recent years, subbing for Kyle Larson, Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kurt Busch among others.

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