Kasey Kahne: “As a kid, all I ever dreamed of was racing cars and being able to race for a living.”
Kasey Kahne is from Enumclaw, Washington. That’s not a racing town, per say. Yet, the now 37-year-old in starting his 15th year at the highest level of stock car racing.
His career didn’t start on the pavement. In fact, his interest didn’t even begin on pavement. Kahne’s first introduction to racing was at the local dirt track.
“As a kid, all I ever dreamed of was racing cars and being able to race for a living,” Kasey Kahne stated from the Auto Club Speedway media center.
“I was from the Seattle area. So, there wasn’t as much racing there. I watched racing on TV, all the time. I just tried to learn all the little things that I possibly could.”
“I asked questions to my dad and other people that were involved in racing. It’s the same with racing as it is anything else out there that younger kids want to be part of. It’s just having that passion and then really working hard to understand it.”
6th grader Micayla Sanford from Smith Tech Academy asked: What started your passion for racing?
“I was pretty little the first time I went to a dirt track. That’s the kinda racing that I started in.”
“My dad worked on dirt cars and we had a local dirt track a couple hours from my house. I would see him working on them and then go to the race track and sit in the grandstands with my mom and watch.”
“Basically, my passion for it started growing at that point in time. The competition, just seeing everybody race for 1st and things like that really got me intrigued.”
“Then, I also had some friends that I met at the race track that did go karts and things. I just really started building it when I was 4-5 years old.”
“I started racing when I was 14. I talked my parents into it. I’v raced ever since.”
Kasey Kahne made his first sprint car start at Deming Speedway. It’s a bullring to the ninth power. The track is a 1/6th of a mile sprint car track.
“I started by watching. And also watching it on TV, watching NASCAR, Indycar’s and they had sprint cars on TV back then.”
A 6th grader named Jordan, also from Smith Tech had another questions: Is racing something that you would encourage your son to do?
“If he wants to. I think for myself, it’s worked out really well. I’ve enjoyed it. But, there’s definitely a lot of up’s and a ton of down’s as well in racing.”
“Just thinking of my son right now. You don’t want to see him go through down’s. But, that’s part of life. That’s part of learning.”
“If he wants to race, I feel like I can really give him good direction. Right now, he likes racing. He’s two so he likes a lot of things. Airplanes is really at the top of his list at this point in time.”
“If he wants to, I’ll help him with that.”
Kasey Kahne is the new Auto Club Speedway kids club president. He has collected 18 wins in 506 races.
Kahne and Leavine Family Racing feel they’ve been behind since the start of the season. The new driver of the #95 says West Coast swing didn’t help that situation. Today is the final race for the 3 week stretch out west.
Next week, NASCAR returns to the East Coast. Specifically, NASCAR returns to short tracks. Kasey Kahne is excited about both of those things. It will allow the team to return to the shop and regroup. Also, the short tracks should play more into the favor of smaller race teams.