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NASCAR Cup: Kasey Kahne out rest of season

CHARLOTTE, NC – SEPTEMBER 13: Kasey Kahne speaks to the media as one of the 16 drivers eligible to win the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship during the 2017 NASCAR Playoffs Production & Media Day at NASCAR Hall of Fame on September 13, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)

By AMANDA VINCENT

In August, Kasey Kahne announced his retirement from full-time competition in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, effective at the end of the 2018 season. That retirement, though, has come earlier than inspected because of an ongoing health issue that has prohibited him from receiving medical clearance for the remainder of the Cup Series season.

“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,” read a statement Kahne tweeted Tuesday morning. “It was my hope that everything would go well and I would be able to finish out the season strong in the #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 enought to prevent any permanent damage to my body.

“NASCAR has been a great home for me for 15 years and I wish the #95 the best of luck these last few races.

“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.”

Kahne last raced in the Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway on Sept. 2, but after that race, he received treatment for extreme heath exhaustion. Continuing symptoms kept him from defending his 2017 Brickyard 400 win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway the following weekend. But during the Indy race weekend, Kahne revealed that he had been struggling with an issue of keeping properly hydrated late in NASCAR races since the previous season.

“I just can’t control the temperature in my body and my heart rate,” Kahne said. “Once it gets to that point, there’s nothing I can do until I get out of the car. We’re still trying to figure that out. That’s why I’m not racing. I don’t want to create any more damage to myself or my body.”

Kahne also revealed that the issue factored into his decision to retire from NASCAR competition.

Kahne, a full-time driver in the Cup Series since 2004, has missed the last five races. Six races remain in the 2018 season. This year’s Brickyard 400 was the first race he had missed since his Cup Series career began in the 2004 season-opening Daytona 500.

Kahne has 18 wins in 529-career starts. His last win was his win of last years Brickyard 400 as driver of the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. This season was his only year as driver of the No. 95 Leavine Family Racing Chevrolet. Other teams for which he raced in the Cup Series include the now-defunct Evernham Motorsports and Red Bull Racing.

Regan Smith has been the substitute driver in the No. 95 through Kahne’s absence, so far. The race team is expected to make an announcement Wednesday relating to its 2019 driver and possible manufacturer change from Chevrolet to Toyota. Matt DiBenedetto has been mentioned as a rumored front-runner for the driver’s seat. DiBenedetto is the driver of the No. 32 Go FAS Racing Ford. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Daniel Suarez also has been mentioned as a possible replacement for Kahne next season.

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Posted by on October 9, 2018. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,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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