Can Kasey Kahne Racing remain on the Outlaws tour without funding from an active NASCAR driver?
Kasey Kahne talks NASCAR retirement and KKR operations
Kasey Kahne joined the NASCAR Cup Series in 2004. He was crowned rookie of the year that season. He didn’t claim any wins that year but he finished second, five times.
He picked up his first win at Richmond Raceway in 2005. The next year, he came out of the gates with stride, picking up six wins. Kahne was ready to be the next superstar.
However, Evernham went on to have a few financial issues and Dodge pulled out of the sport. The team was eventually sold. In 2010, Kahne went to a new team, Red Bull Racing. In 2012, Kahne found his dream ride at Hendrick Motorsports.
Kasey Kahne finished 4th in the championship at the conclusion of the 2012 season, it was his best championship run to date. However, things never quite came together for him at Hendrick.
For 2018, Kahne has moved to Leavine Family Racing. The small team is improving but after 15 years in the sport, Kahne is burnt out.
Kasey Kahne has now announced the retirement of his full-time NASCAR Cup Series career.
“It’s been on my mind for awhile. Truthfully, the last two years at Hendrick. Then, the year here at LFR, I haven’t been as competitive as what I want to be,” Kasey Kahne refers to his NASCAR retirement.
“Over the last three four months it started being on my mind to find other things to do. I just finally made that decision.”
On October 13, 2015, Kasey Kahne and his longtime girlfriend Samantha Sheets welcomed theur son to the world. Tanner Kahne is now the focus.
“I got a ton of time with Tanner. But, it’s going to be different time now. It used to always be on the weekdays. Now, it’s going to be on the weekends. We can go to a football game, a baseball game. Just not be completely thinking about racing all the time.”
“My mind is always in racing. It’s all I’ve thought about for 25 years.”
“That was one part of it, the money side. I had some neat opportunities with Leavine. It was going to keep getting better. There was money there. There was a few other offers that I had received in the last month. ”
“It felt good to have that. But, at the same time, it wasn’t really about that anymore. I didn’t feel like I could race all of next year and be completely committed 100%.”
“I feel like there are guys out there that can be and should have those opportunities over me at this point.”
Kasey Kahne Racing
Aside from NASCAR, Kahne is heavily involved in the dirt racing world. he fields a multi-car operation on the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series tour.
Last week, Kasey Kahne became a winner of the Knoxville Nationals as a car owner. Days later, he announced his retirement from full-time NASCAR competition.
“I feel like I’ll definitely do a little bit more. Our teams are very good,” Kahne stated of KKR.
“Last week with Brad Sweet winning the Knoxville Nationals was a huge part for KKR. It was a dream for a lot of us to win that race. It was special to be there and cheer him on.”
“I still love that race. And that’s where I started or where I learned how to drive. I could see myself doing 40-50 sprint car races next year.”
“Definitely not a full deal because that doesn’t do me much good for backing off a bit.But, you can do 40-50 races in about 3 months in that deal. And still have 8-9 months to do other things.”
“Yeah, I think we can have fun in sprint car racing for sure. Then, also have some business opportunities down the road.”
Do the sprint car operation change without funding coming in from a current Cup driver? Can you still run it at the level it’s at?
“It definitely will change it up a little bit,” Kahne says with a laugh.
“We’ll work really hard. We’ve had strong partners and sponsors over the years. And I feel like we can carry a lot of that. Myself and Mike Curb have worked together to have two or three teams with the World of Outlaws since 2006.”
“Yeah, I think we can push pretty hard and try to bring in enough money to do it right. Then, still have two World of Outlaws teams and myself 40-50 times would be ideal.”
Related: Kasey Kahne to Leavine Family Racing