Unfortunately, the Southern 500 will be the last time that we will see Kasey Kahne driving a NASCAR. Kahne, was treated for heat exhaustion following the Sept. 2 race and decided to step away from his seat until he and doctors could get his body right again. The Washington native tested his No. 95 Chevrolet last week at the Charlotte Motor Speedway hoping to be cleared to return to his car again last weekend in Dover.
While he did log some laps, he wasn’t yet cleared.
On Tuesday, he announced that he will just start his retirement now and won’t be returning to Leavine Family Racing for the remainder of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.
Kahne, announced on Aug. 16 that this would be his final season in general. He sat out the last five races due to his condition and was hoping to return soon. In wake of this, doctors have recommended that he sit out of his car pending further evaluation. With only six races to go in the season and him still not clearing protocol, he’s aiding on the side of caution and just starting his retirement a little earlier than expected.
“Out of the race car, I am perfectly healthy, I feel great, and the doctors have determined that I have no underlying health problems,” Kahne wrote on social media on Tuesday morning. “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.
Luckily, this likely isn’t the end of seeing Kahne race. He said in his statement that going back to spring car racing is still a potential opportunity.
“With much shorter races and open cockpits, there is no issue with my health or hydration with that type of racing,” Kahne said on that possibility.
Kahne’s career comes to an end with 18 wins in 529 starts over 15 years of racing at NASCAR’s highest level, including three Coca-Cola 600 victories at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Kahne competed for five teams throughout his Cup tenure – Evernham Motorsports (2004-07), Richard Petty Motorsports (2008-10), Red Bull Racing (2011), Hendrick Motorsports (2012-17) and Leavine Family Racing (2018).