Photo: Chris Owens/ASP, Inc.

Kahne to Sit Out for the Next Three Races, Smith to Substitute

By Luis Torres, Staff Writer

Kasey Kahne will sit out the next three Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races, beginning in Sunday’s South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Also announced Tuesday was Regan Smith taking driving duties for Leavine Family Racing’s No. 95 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for at least those three events.

The 18-time Cup winner sat out the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard due to lingering heat exhaustion, the first time he’s ever missed a Cup race in his entire 15-year career.

Smith finished on the lead lap in 20th at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Monday, returning in the Premiere Series for the first time since Dover 2017. In seven previous starts at Las Vegas, NASCAR’s “Super Sub” has an average finish of 24.1, and finished no better than 15th in 2012.

Alongside missing Vegas, a track Kahne has scored three top-fives and seven top-tens in 15 starts, he won’t make his final start at Richmond Raceway, the site of his first Cup victory in May 2005, and the highly anticipated Charlotte Roval.

In the team’s statement, Kahne will continue working with his physicians on his health plans, and cited that the 1.5-mile circuit is projected to be up to 100 degrees this weekend, a concern he had before Tuesday’s announcement.

Kahne stated Friday that his health began taking its toll for over a year, citing his latest win at Indianapolis being a huge sign. From there, he has tried figuring out as to why these issues kept happening.

Its cultivation occurred in the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway September 2, where Kahne began struggling with his vision and staying hydrated as the grueling 500-mile race came to a close. Afterwards, Kahne went the care center where he threw up and received IVs on both arms.

For the immediate future, Kahne’s plan is to focus on his health, and LFR will provide its next update after the Charlotte Roval weekend at the end of the month.

On Wednesday morning, Kahne addressed his health issues and the extended leave from the cockpit with a post on Twitter.

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From the Pacific Northwest, Luis is a University of Idaho graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcasting and Digital Media. Ever since watching the 2003 Daytona 500, being involved in auto racing is all he's ever dreamed of doing. He's also covered Idaho Athletics and high school football as both a writer and videographer. Additionally, he spent 2017 writing several racing columns as an independent journalist. Luis is a fan of Seattle sports, a music critic and a motivator who wants to impact people's lives.