On Tuesday, Kasey Kahne took time out of his schedule to visit the Kansas Speedway and help sell tickets for the speedway’s NEXTEL Cup/Busch Series race weekend on September 29, 2006 through October 1, 2006. Kahne, who is featured on the tickets after winning last year’s Busch Series race, also personally autographed every ticket he sold.
After “working” at the speedway for a few hours, Kahne headed to the Powerplay Family Entertainment Center in Shawnee, Kansas, along with NHRA driver Dave Grubnic, to participate in go-kart races with local media. After signing some autographs and posing for pictures with a few lucky fans who just happened to be in the right place at the right time, I had a chance to talk to Kahne about his other interests, including being a team owner, his possible future plans, the Kasey Kahne Foundation, and Saturday’s All-Star event.
Nikki Krone: Tell us about your World of Outlaws team.
Kasey Kahne: I grew up racing Sprint cars and now I have a good opportunity to have a first class Sprint car team and I really enjoy it. It’s one of the funnest things that I get to do, to own that Sprint car team, have Joey Saldana drive it, and to just be part of the fun.
Nikki: Would you like to expand it?
Kasey: Right now I’m really happy with just one team, and we’re working on sponsorship to make it better. Maybe in the future we’ll have two, maybe not. As of right now, I’m happy with what we’ve got, and we’ll just try to win races with what we have and hopefully win an Outlaw championship.
Nikki: Do you have any aspirations of going into ownership after your driving career is over?
Kasey: As of right now, I’m just thinking of driving and owning my Sprint car team. After that, you never know, but it really hasn’t crossed my mind to be a Busch Series, or Truck Series, or Cup Series owner at all. I’m more into doing the driving and having my Sprint car team.
Nikki: They talk about the younger drivers not staying in the sport as long as the older drivers do now. Have you thought about your future driving plans?
Kasey: I have no idea. I know that I haven’t done enough racing yet and I want to do a lot more in NASCAR. I want to do a lot more in Sprint car racing also. Maybe in the future I’ll get the chance to drive in the Indy 500, if things worked out here in the next four or five years. Other than that, I’m just all about driving cars.
Nikki: How much sprint racing do you get to do yourself?
Kasey: I do between five and ten each year, at the most. Last year I think I did around nine. This year I’ll probably do around seven or eight. It’s not quite as much as I want, but it’s still a good amount.
Nikki: Talk about the Kasey Kahne Foundation and why you wanted to get involved?
Kasey: Me and my sister started it, and she runs it and does a fantastic job there. It’s to help chronically ill children and underprivileged kids, and to try to make their days better when we can and give them better opportunities. As a NASCAR driver, I get lots of little kids and lots of fans around that enjoy getting a picture or just talking to me; that kind of stuff. I just thought it was a very easy way for me to do something to help kids and make them feel good.
Nikki: Now this weekend is the All-Star race. Do you enjoy that kind of racing and do you approach it differently?
Kasey: Yeah, man, I love it! You don’t have to worry about points. If you crash and fall out of the race, it’s not nearly as big of a deal as if you do it during a points race. You don’t want to do that, of course, but everybody just goes for it. They want to win that million dollars and put a good show on for the fans. What happens happens, and hopefully we’ll be able to get it done there.
Nikki: Are you using the same car you plan to use for the 600?
Kasey: It’s actually a brand new car that’s built just like my Texas car. We’re saving the Texas/Atlanta car for Charlotte and the 600, but the car this weekend is a brand new car and should be very fast.
- For more information about the Kasey Kahne Foundation, visit http://www.kaseykahnefoundation.com/
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