By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
BRISTOL, Tenn. – The season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway will mark Kasey Kahne’s final race as a full-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver. The 15-year veteran’s career has spanned many of the highs in recent NASCAR history.
Although Kahne has never won a Championship, he has earned 31 victories across all three of NASCAR’s National Series, 18 in the Premier Series alone. The Enumclaw, WA native has driven for six team including Evernham Motorsports, Richard Petty Motorsports, and Hendrick Motorsports. For Kahne, the 2006 and 2012 seasons were his best, scoring six victories in 2006 and finishing fourth in the Championship Points Standings in 2012.
While some consider a career without a Championship or a win in the legendary Daytona 500 incomplete, Kahne sees things differently. Three of his 18 victories came in the equally legendary Coca-Cola 600. Kahne most recent, and possibly final victory came last season at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“It will absolutely be satisfying,” Kahne said. “To me, I’ve won 20 Cup races; it says 18, but that All-Star race was just as hard as the others. The 150 I had to beat Tony (Stewart) and that was just as hard as the others. So, yeah, hey I would love to win a championship. I would love to have 30 race wins. But, that didn’t happen and I’m fine with that. And I feel like the things that did have been great. I got to basically make a run and live in an awesome time in NASCAR until now and it feels great to be a part of NASCAR, for sure.”
Although Kahne is stepping away from full-time NASCAR competition, he will still be competing in 40-50 Sprint Car races. The current Leavine Family Racing driver also did not rule out possible ‘one-offs’ in the Cup, Xfinity, or even Camping World Truck Series.
“I feel like I can still go out and win races and be competitive,” Kahne explained. “Why be completely done if there is an opportunity to do a couple of races, a Daytona 500, a Brickyard, or whatever it may be; or maybe never drive another Cup car after Homestead. I’m not sure. But, I still love racing. I know I’m going to be a big part of racing from here on out. I’ll still be around. Yeah, if I can help out at some point, I’d love to get in the car probably and still do some driving.”
Until the checkered flag waves at Homestead in November, Kahne has 13 races left to focus on in his full-time NASCAR career.