Kasey Kahne is now the second veteran NASCAR driver in two days to announce his plans to retire from full-time racing at the end of the 2018 season. Sharing the news on Twitter on Thursday, he said he’s thought about this for a long time and “couldn’t commit” to more years racing in the Cup Series.
Longtime driver Elliott Sadler made a similar announcement Wednesday.
Kahne has been racing in NASCAR for 17 years, 15 of which were full-time at the top in the Cup Series. Currently, the 38-year-old drives the No. 95 for Leavine Family Racing, following six seasons with Hendrick Motorsports form 2012 to 2017.
He has accumulated 18 Cup Series victories with his most recent one being the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2017. He also won the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway — NASCAR’s longest race — three times (2006, 2008, 2012).
In his announcement on Twitter, Kahne said, “I’ve thought about this decision for many months, if not longer. It’s time for me to step away from racing in NASCAR full-time. I appreciate everything LFR has done for me this season and offering me the opportunity to race in 2019.”
Kahne further adds in his statement, “However. racing in cup (sic) full time for a few more years was just something that I couldn’t commit to. I’m not sure what the future holds for me, but I know I’m at ease with the decision that I have made. The highs didn’t outweigh the lows and the grueling schedule takes a toll on your quality of life. I need to spend more time doing the things that I enjoy and love and that’s spending time with Tanner and my sprint car teams.”
Kahne is currently 28th in the Cup Series standings and would need to win one of the final three regular season races to qualify for the 16-driver, 10-race playoffs this fall. His best career finish was fourth in 2012.
Notably, he has 748 total starts across NASCAR’s three national series, including 527 in the Cup Series. He also won eight second-tier XFINITY Series races and five Camping World Truck Series events out of six starts.