Leavine Family Racing welcomes a new driver in Kasey Kahne and enters the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season with renewed optimism.
Kahne migrates from Hendrick Motorsports to take the wheel of LFR’s No. 95 Chevrolet replacing Michael McDowell, who will join Front Row Motorsports this season. Kahne is an 18-time Cup winner with his most recent victory coming in last year’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
After spending the last six years in the Hendrick stable, Kahne is approaching his new opportunity with LRF as a fresh start for his racing career.
"I think a fresh start is nice," Kahne said. "I think it’ll be really good for me. It’s probably the first time maybe ever that it’s fresh, completely new in all aspects."
While Kahne is looking forward to the change of scenery, he harbors no ill will toward his former employer Rick Hendrick and his organization.
"I told all my guys that I wish the results would have been better the last three years there and, you know, I think if the results were better, I would still be there," Kahne said. "But the results weren’t good and that’s been hard to understand where there like lies or why but that’s just the way it is.
"I’ve moved on, they’ve moved on and that’s all perfectly fine. I don’t have any bad feelings at all. I think Mr. H is a great guy. All those guys on my team put in a huge effort. I’m glad that I moved on because what we were doing there was not working for me. So, to have that part of it over with, is great."
Kahne will have Travis Mack serving as crew chief on the No. 95 Camaro. Mack, most recently was the car chief for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports team. He’s worked as a car chief since 2013 and served as interim crew chief for the No. 88 team for one race at Richmond Raceway in 2017.
LRF also welcomes a new enhanced relationship with sponsor to the team in ProCore. The car will sport a fresh new paint scheme for the coming season.
"Procore is excited to continue our partnership with Leavine Family Racing and support the 95 car throughout the 2018 season," said Mark Lyons, vice president of segment marketing, Procore. "We value the connection that Leavine Family Racing has to the construction industry, and know that this connection also extends to many of the passionate fans that come out to the track and tune in to each NASCAR race."
The off-season changes have team owner Bob Leavine optimistic about the direction of his organization.
"We look at this as an opportunity to go to the next level," Leavine said. "This deals partially with performance, because obviously, Kasey is a playoff-caliber driver. He has a wealth of information being with a larger organization like Hendrick Motorsports, and we think that will help us. We also look at this as an opportunity for marketing to be able to sell sponsorship."