Kasey Kahne‘s retirement from NASCAR competition is coming earlier than expected.
The driver of Leavine Family Racing’s No. 95 in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series announced today (Oct. 9) that he is not medically cleared to drive in the remainder of the 2018 season. He had planned to retire from full-time competition after 2018, meaning that his NASCAR career may be over.
Kahne announced the news in a tweet Tuesday morning.
— Kasey Kahne (@kaseykahne) October 9, 2018
“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,” wrote Kahne. “It was my hope that everything would go well and I would be able to finish out the season strong in the No. 95 for Leavine Family Racing. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.”
Kahne added that while he is “perfectly healthy” outside of the racecar, his body “just can’t handle extended periods in the racecar and we weren’t able to control the sweat ratio to keep me hydrated enough to prevent any permanent damage to my body.”
He confirmed, however, that his health issues seem to have no bearing on his sprint car racing career. “See you all soon at the dirt tracks, and thank you for sticking with me over the years,” he wrote.
Kahne has been out of the No. 95 since after the September race at Darlington Raceway, stepping out of the car at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Regan Smith following dehydration issues and heat exhaustion experienced on track.
Smith has been in the car since, scoring a best finish of 12th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
LFR has not announced its lineup for the remainder of the season, though Smith is currently listed on the entry list at Talladega Superspeedway. The team has a press conference scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 10.
We’re incredibly thankful for the time with had this year with @KaseyKahne,” LFR tweeted Oct.9. “As much as we hate to see his tenure in the No. 95 end this way, we’re grateful for the experience he brought to this team. Thank you for being such a great driver, friend and ambassador for this sport!”
In 25 races in 2018, Kahne has one top five and top 10, coming via a fourth-place run at Daytona in July.
Should his NASCAR career be over, Kahne hangs up his helmet with 18 wins, 93 top fives and 176 top 10s in 529 career Cup starts, dating back to 2004. He adds eight additional wins in the XFINITY Series and five in the Camping World Truck Series.
He announced his retirement in mid-August. “I’m not sure what the future holds for me, but I’m at ease with the decision that I have made,” he said then.