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NASCAR Cup: Kasey Kahne replaces Michael McDowell at Leavine Family Racing in 2018

Kasey Kahne (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kasey Kahne (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Kasey Kahne will replace Michael McDowell behind the wheel of the No. 95 Leavine Family Racing Chevrolet in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2018. Kahne will be released from driving duties on the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet at the end of the 2017 season.

“I want to thank Leavine Family Racing for this opportunity and will work as hard as possible to help them continue improving,” Kahne said. “I am ready for this challenge and look forward to making a fresh start. Bob (Leavine, LFR owner) and everyone at Leavine Family Racing put a lot into their program, and I’m excited to become a part of it.”

Kahne has been with Hendrick Motorsports since 2012. He has one win this season, coming at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Brickyard 400. As a result of that win, Kahne is among the 16 drivers in the 2017 playoffs.

“We look at this as an opportunity to go to the next level,” Leavine Family Racing owner Bob Leavine said. “This deals partially with performance, because obviously, Kasey is a playoff-caliber driver. He has a wealth of information being with a larger organization like Hendrick Motorsports, and we think that will help us. We also look at this as an opportunity for marketing to be able to sell sponsorship.”

In all, Kahne has 18-career Cup Series wins in 495 series starts. He also has 92 top-fives and 173 top-10 finishes. This year, he has three top-fives, including his Brickyard win, and 4 top-10 finishes through 27 races.

“Overall, we think Kasey is a good fit and felt we needed a change. There is absolutely nothing that Michael (McDowell) did; it was just a matter of us having to make some changes to hep us move up the ladder and be a factor in the playoffs. I know Kasey will bring things that will help us, and I believe our environment will be conducive to his confidence level, which will, in  turn, raise our confidence level. It just seemed like the right time and the right fit for our team.”

McDowell, meanwhile, has a top-five finish this season — a fourth-place finish at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in July. It’s his only career top-five finish, to date. He has been with Leavine Family Racing since 2014.

Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingdaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (facebook.com/nascarexaminer)

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Posted by on September 19, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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