BRISTOL, Tenn. — Kasey Kahne said Friday that he loves NASCAR but wanted to spend more time with his family, one day after announcing his pending retirement from NASCAR at season’s end.
“I love NASCAR, it’s been a big part of my life, and I’ve enjoyed every bit of it,” Kahne said. “I’ll keep watching and keep coming to the races when I can and supporting it, supporting dirt-car racing, and supporting all the racing. … It’s something I always truly have enjoyed, but needed to back off a little bit because it’s the time I’m missing with him (son Tanner, who was sitting on Kahne’s lap at the press conference).”
Kahne, 38, enters Saturday’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race in 28th place in the drivers’ standings. He’ll round out his final Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season with Leavine Family Racing’s No. 95 organization.
The news broke Thursday on Kahne’s social media channels with his decision to step away from full-time racing in NASCAR. Kahne, in his 15th season driving in NASCAR’s top division, has collected 18 premier-series wins. His most recent triumph came last season at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“I had some neat opportunities with Leavine,” Kahne said. “We were working together for the season and it was going to keep getting better. There was money there, there were a few other offers that I had received over the last month and just options that we could talk about, things like that. It felt really good to have that, but at the same time it wasn’t necessarily about that anymore and I didn’t feel that I could seriously race all of next year and be completely committed 100 percent and I feel like there are guys out there that can be and that should have those opportunities over me at this point in time because I don’t feel like I can be that guy from this point on.”
NASCAR.com: Kasey Kahne through the years