It's crazy to think that it has been over five years since Kasey Kahne last stepped behind the wheel of a NASCAR ride. The 43-year-old Washington native had to step away in the middle of the 2018 Cup Series season due to health issues, and he never really got a true send-off. Well, it's looking like there could be a shot of Kahne finally getting that proper send-off sometime in the near future.
Kahne, who was honored at last week's Darlington Raceway throwback race as one of NASCAR's 75 Greatest Drivers, spoke with the media ahead of the Goodyear 400 and expressed his interest in making a return to stock car racing.
His last start was at Darlington in 2018.
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"I think it would be great to run a stock car again," Kahne said.
Kahne had to step away with less than 10 races remaining in the 2018 season after dealing with health issues related to heat exhaustion. His high-profile return to Darlington was actually a coincidental one, as it also marked the spot of his final race behind the wheel of the No. 95 Chevy for Leavine Family Racing.
"I have done a lot since then, and I think my body is in a much better place," Kahne said. "It needed a rest. I needed to understand the things that I've gone through. It was a long process. I feel the way I should feel and that's nice."
Kahne dealt with several issues during that final full-time season, including suffering from dehydration and a number of other problems with regulating his body temperature and heart rate. Racing in NASCAR can be hard on every driver, and it really took its toll on Kahne at the end.
"The Cup races were tough. They're long, grueling, depending on the time of the year, they're tough on you," Kahne said. "Dehydration to me is no joke, and I was battling it pretty bad."
Getting fully ready to race in the Cup Series might not be an easy path for the 18-time Cup race winner, but a return to stock car racing is clearly on Kasey's mind. He's scratched that racing itch in other ways, having made his return to dirt racing in 2022. A couple weeks back, he also signed on to run in the Superstar Racing Experience event at Berlin Raceway in August. Still, Kahne seems to feel that he has some unfinished business in NASCAR's highest level, and he may just see it through.
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