Kasey Kahne is fighting health issues that are keeping him out of the car this weekend and is not sure when he might be able to return to racing.
Kahne suffered extreme heat exhaustion after last week’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. He was administered fluids immediately after the race and has continue to feel the effects in recent days. The condition has caused Kahne to be removed from the Leavine Family Racing entry for this week’s Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where he had hoped to contend for back-to-back wins after his 2017 triumph.
Regan Smith got the call late Thursday to fill in for Kahne, who is not sure when he might be ready to get back behind the wheel.
Kahne said his heart rate was out of control after last week’s Darlington race and that he threw up on the way to the media center.
“It was just a complete mess,” Kahne said Friday during a media teleconference.
Kahne indicated he has dealt with the dehydration condition for some time and that it definitely impacted his decision to retire from full-time NASCAR competition as he announced several weeks ago.
“My whole reason for doing this is because I know Indy is a tough one,” said Kahne. “I just know I’ll be in that same situation here. … I had to not go there. Hopefully we can learn more by the next one. But I can’t go through that again.”
For now Kahne is hoping he will miss just the Indianapolis race and be back in the car the following week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. But the predicted heat in Vegas next weekend may add another challenge to his quest to get back racing.
“It definitely worries me,” he said. “But if we can come up with solution to stay hydrated prior to race and feel comfortable with it, I’ll be in Las Vegas.”