CONCORD, N.C. — Kasey Kahne confirmed Tuesday morning he is ending his NASCAR career early after not being cleared to compete for the remainder of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.
Kahne announced in mid-August that he was retiring from full-time NASCAR competition at the end of the season. However, less than a month later Kahne announced he was skipping the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway because of lingering heat exhaustion issues.
The 38-year-old native of Washington hasn’t raced since. He took part in a test session at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Oct. 2 with Leavine Family Racing to determine if he’d be cleared to race for the rest of the year, but doctors declined to clear him following the test.
“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,” said Kahne in a post to his personal Twitter account. “It was my hope that everything would go well and I would be able to finish out the season strong in the No. 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,” Kahne continued. 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.
“NASCAR has been a great home for me for 15 years and I wish the No. 95 the best of luck these last few races. 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.”
Kahne began his NASCAR career in 2002 in what is now the Xfinity Series, racing part time for Robert Yates and competing in 20 of the 34 races that season. He contested the full schedule the next year in the Brad Akins-owned No. 38 before moving up to the Cup Series in 2004 with Ray Evernham.
He went on to drive for Evernham, Gillette-Evernham Motorsports, Richard Petty Motorsports, Red Bull Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and most recently Leavine Family Racing.
In all, Kahne has 18 wins, 93 top fives, 176 top 10s and 27 poles in 527 starts over 15 years at the Cup level. His most recent victory came last year in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and his best Cup Series points finish came in 2012 when he finished fourth.
His best finish this season for Leavine Family Racing is fourth at Daytona Int’l Speedway in July. Regan Smith has driven the No. 95 since Indianapolis.