Photo: Justin R. Noe/ASP, Inc.

Kahne Says Goodbye to NASCAR as Medical Clearance is Denied

By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor

Since taking a step back for medical reasons five weeks ago, Kasey Kahne and the No. 95 Leavine Family Racing team had held out hope that their driver could return to the cockpit to finish out the remainder of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season on his own terms, but alas, it was not to be.

News came down Tuesday that Kahne was not medically cleared to return to the racecar following his battle with severe dehydration that left him in bad shape at the conclusion of the Labor Day weekend race at Darlington.

Regan Smith took over driving duties while Kahne worked with his doctors to try to figure out exactly what was going on. Things seemed to be taking a turn for the better as Kahne had a test at Charlotte Motor Speedway last week in hopes of getting the medical clearance he needed to return to active driving duty.

However, the results of the test were not in his favor as noted by a tweet sent out by the 38-year-old native of Enumclaw, Washington.

“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 said. “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. 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 damage to my body.”

With the news, it appears that Kahne’s NASCAR career is all but over and he will end his tenure in stock cars with 18 Cup Series wins, 93 top-five finishes, 176 top-10 finishes, and 27 poles in a career dating back to 2004.

While he won’t be returning to the cockpit of the No. 95 car, his days of racing are far from over as he will be back behind the wheel of a sprint car in the near future.

“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,” Kahne concluded. “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.”

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David Morgan is the NASCAR Editor for Motorsports Tribune. A 2008 graduate from the University of Mississippi, David has followed NASCAR since the early 90’s. Learning to love the sport at an early age after attending his first race at Talladega Superspeedway in 1993, he has been hooked ever since. David is a National Motorsports Press Association member, having covered races across the country since 2012 and looks forward to visiting every track on the circuit in the near future.