Kasey Kahne Has Thought About Returning to NASCAR Cup Series
Kasey Kahne, who walked away from NASCAR Cup racing prior to the 2018 season’s conclusion due to health issues, says he has thought about returning to the sanctioning body’s premier series.
“I think it would be great to run a stock car again,” Kahne said.
Kahne, now 43 years old, said his health was “struggling pretty bad” in 2018 and his final Cup race at Darlington Raceway on that traditional Labor Day weekend was “as bad as I have ever felt.”
“I have done a lot since then and I think my body is in a much better place,” Kahne said. “It needed a rest. I needed to understand the things that I’ve gone through. It was a long process. I feel the way I should feel and that’s nice.
"The Cup races were tough. They’re long, grueling, depending on the time of the year they’re tough on you. Dehydration to me is no joke and I was battling it pretty bad.”
In 2018, Kahne couldn’t control his body temperature and heart rate. During his final Cup race at Darlington, South Carolina, he struggled to keep his eyes open with about 100 laps remaining. His heart rate was extremely high, and he tried to do as little as possible in the car to get it to go down. After the race, he vomited all the way to the infield care center where he received IVs in both arms. He became sick again after leaving the infield care center and remained that way the entire drive home.
Kahne, who earlier this spring was named to NASCAR's 75 Greatest Drivers list after a career that saw him win 18 times in 529 Cup starts from 2004 through 2018, saw signs of dehydration in 2017, but they became more consistent in 2018.
Today, Kahne doesn’t watch all NASCAR Cup races in their entirety, but he watches “bits and pieces of all of them.” The amount of a race Kahne watches is dependent on what’s going on that day in other segments of his life.
Kahne owns two Sprint Car teams, and he also competes in dirt track Sprint Car races. He has started a screen printing and embroidery business in his race team shops in Mooresville, North Carolina. His 7-year-old son has started playing soccer, and he also has a 4-month-old daughter.