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Kasey Kahne Driver Bio

Birthdate: April 10, 1980
Hometown: Enumclaw, Wash.
First Career Cup race: February 15, 2004 (Daytona)
Career Cup Poles: 27
Career Cup Wins: 18
Best Cup Championship Finish: 4th – 2012

Kasey Kahne began racing at the age 14 in a Micro Midget, and won four races in his first-ever season of competition.

Kahne won the 2000 USAC Midget championship, and was named the USAC Driver of the Year and Silver Bullet Series Rookie of the Year.

He won his first Xfinity Series race in his 54th-career start at the last event of the 2003 season at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Finishing seventh in the championship standings, Kahne ended the 2003 Cup season with four top-five and 15 top-10 finishes, one win and one pole.

In 2004, Kahne assumed Bill Elliott’s role as driver of the No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge where, at 24, he became the youngest Rookie of the Year winner since Jeff Gordon turned the trick at 22 years old in 1993.

Kahne, who finished 120 points ahead of Brendan Gaughan in the rookie standings, came close on five occasions to extending the rookie streak of at least one victory in each of the last five seasons by finishing second at Rockingham, Las Vegas, Texas, Michigan and California. His number of runner-up finishes tied Ryan Newman’s 2002 rookie record.

Kahne equaled 2003 top rookie Jamie McMurray by finishing 13th in the final Cup series point standings. He took Rookie of the Race honors 19 times including 12 of the last 16 races.

Although he won his first Cup race at Richmond, Kahne experienced the “sophomore slump” in 2005 after finishing 23rd in the final standings.

Kahne had a break-out campaign in 2006, as he not only won six times during the season, but also qualified for the “Chase” for the first time in his career. Although he did not win the championship, he did finish the season in eighth place – a career best – despite having to deal with a teammate change halfway through the year, as Jeremy Mayfield was replaced by Elliott Sadler.

After winning six races in 2006, Kahne has slumped again. Although, his 2007 finish wasn’t as bad as his 2005 season, Kahne only pulled off one top-five. However, he finished in the top-10 eight times and won two poles for a 19th place in the point standings.

With Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s transfer to Hendrick Motorsports, Budweiser sponsored Kahne and the No. 9 team beginning with the 2008 Cup season.

Kahne’s Xfinity Series stats for 2007 consisted of two wins, two top-five and seven top-10 finishes, with a 27th-place finish in points standings.

In 2008, Kahne returned to victory lane again in the Cup Series – twice. Kahne won the Coca-Cola 600 for the second time in his career and also won at Pocono Raceway in 2008. He also scored 14 top 10s en route to a 14th-place finish in the standings. Kahne narrowly missed making the Chase.

Kahne was back in the Chase in 2009 after going to victory lane a pair of times in 2009, but overall his season was disappointing and confusing.

With the Richard Petty Motorsports team in a state of transition for much of the year, including an impending merger with Yates Racing and moving from Dodge to Ford, there was a lot of unknowns swirling around Kahne.

He was back with Richard Petty Motorsports in 2010, but not for the whole season. For the final five races, Kahne was with his new team, Red Bull Racing. The season marked the first winless year for Kahne since 2007 and he failed to make the Chase, resulting in a 20th-place finish in the points.

In 31 starts with RPM, Kahne scored three poles, seven top-five finishes and nine top 10s. He scored his first top 10 with Red Bull Racing at the season finale in Homestead-Miami.

2011 was Kahne’s final season with Red Bull Racing before his move to Hendrick Motorsports. He notched his 12th career win, in the next-to-last race of the year at Phoenix International Raceway, and finished 14th in the final standings.

In addition to 15 top-10 finishes, Kahne also won two poles in 2011: at Darlington Raceway and Atlanta.

In 2012, Kahne qualified for the post-season Chase as a Wild Card and climbed to fourth in the final standings – 55 points behind champion Brad Keselowski. He had 12 top-five finishes in 36 starts, with five of them coming in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

One of Kahne’s two wins in 2012 was the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in his 300th career Cup Series start. The other victory came in July at New Hampshire.

Kahne also made 15 starts in the Xfinity Series with a best finish of second in the spring race at Bristol. And his lone start in the Camping World Truck Series, on April 15, resulted in a win at Rockingham Speedway.

In 2013, Kahne finished 11th in the regular-season point standings and, with two wins, earned a Wild Card berth in the post-season Chase. But with just three top-10s in the 10-race title series, Kahne finished 12th among the 13 participants.

His victories came in the spring race at Bristol and the August stop at Pocono. Kahne also made 11 starts in the Xfinity Series with a best finish of second (to Kyle Busch) in May at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

In 2014, Kahne once again qualified for the post-season – getting a crucial victory Labor Day weekend in the next-to-last race of the regular season at Atlanta which helped place him onto the Chase Grid as the No. 11 seed. Kahne survived the first round of eliminations, but a 12th-place finish Oct. 19 at Talladega Superspeedway ended his title hopes.

Kahne finished 15th in the final standings with 11 top 10s in his 36 starts. He also competed in three Xfinity Series events, winning the July race at Daytona International Speedway.

Kahne missed the Chase in 2015 and 2016 as his winless streak grew to 83 races. His best finish in 36 starts during the 2016 campaign was third place in the fall race at Charlotte.

In 2017, Kahne made the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs in what turned out to be his final season with Hendrick Motorsports.

Kahne was informed in late summer he would be replaced in the No. 5 Chevrolet at Hendrick next season by William Byron, who will move up from the JR Motorsports Xfinity Series team.

Kahne’s last season with Hendrick was sporadic. He struggled to find consistency early in the year and the team seem to lack speed trying to compete.

However, the highlight of the campaign came in late July when Kahne scored one of the biggest wins of his career taking the checkered flag in the Brickyard 400. He had to survive a wild overtime finish to do so but Kahne celebrated in an emotional Victory Lane ceremony at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, making the accomplishment even more special.

Kahne will move to Leavine Family Racing in 2018 to drive the No. 95 Chevrolet.