- Kasey Kahne
- Birth Date
- April 10, 1980
- Enumclaw, Wash.
Kasey Kahne is not only a veteran of the NASCAR Cup Series, he remains a constant in JR Motorsports’ stable of drivers in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS). In 2017, Kahne will climb behind the wheel of JRM’s part-time No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro at Daytona International Speedway, the site of his 2014 win for the organization, and again at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
This season marks Kahne’s fifth consecutive season driving for JRM. In addition to his 2014 victory, he’s earned nine top-five and 14 top-10 finishes in 22 NXS events for the 16-year-old company. In 2015, Kahne also piloted JRM’s No. 00 Chevrolet Silverado to its inaugural victory in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Growing up in Enumclaw, Wash., Kahne earned a Northwest Mini-Sprints championship and Hannigan Speedway title at age 17. Shortly thereafter, Kahne left his home state for the short tracks of the Midwest, sharpening his driving skills in the World of Outlaws, Circuit of Champions, Gumout Racing Series and Northern Sprint Tour.
Kahne went on to win the 2000 USAC National Midget Series championship and was named Driver of the Year that season. In 2001, he matched current Hendrick Motorsports teammate and former sprint car star Jeff Gordon after claiming his second consecutive victory in the prestigious Night Before the 500 at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. Like Gordon and other standout open-wheel drivers, Kahne was soon on his way to NASCAR.
Kahne ran a partial NXS schedule in 2002 with Yates Racing before teaming up with owner Brad Akins to run a full season the next year. During that 2003 run, Kahne earned a win, four top-five finishes, 14 top-10s and one pole position and caught the attention of team owner Ray Evernham. The former championship-winning crew chief believed Kahne’s dirt track racing background would pay off in the more powerful Sprint Cup cars and offered him a ride for the 2004 season. Kahne’s impact was immediate, and the rookie took home top-three finishes in three of his first four races. After claiming 2004 Rookie of the Year honors in the Cup Series, Kahne emerged as a championship contender in just his third full Cup season. He won a series-high six races and recorded a career-best six pole positions before finishing eighth in the Chase for the NASCAR Cup in 2006.
Kahne renewed his charge for the championship in 2009, when he qualified fifth for the Chase. He earned two top-five finishes and four top-10s during the 10-race playoff and concluded the season 10th in the final standings.
The following spring, Kahne made a promising move for his future when he signed with Hendrick Motorsports to drive the No. 5 Chevrolet in 2012. At the time, Kahne said he thought it would give him a great chance to win races and compete for championships, and once he strapped into Hendrick Motorsports’ original Cup entry, he was doing just that.
Kahne notched a career-best fourth-place result in the championship standings in 2012 – his first season with Hendrick Motorsports – on the strength of two wins, four pole positions, 12 top-five finishes and 19 top-10s. Kahne recorded his career-best average starting and finishing positions and notably led the Cup field with an 8.8 average starting spot. Kahne’s four poles were ranked tied for first among Cup drivers, while his 19 top-10 results matched 2006 as a personal best for him.
In 2013, Kahne accomplished another two-win season and earned his way into the Chase for the fourth time in his Cup Series career. At the conclusion of the season, he finished 12th in the championship standings with 11 top-five finishes and 14 top-10s.
After a mediocre start, Kahne earned a spot in the 2014 Chase in dramatic fashion, winning at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway in the penultimate race of the regular season, securing his fifth Chase berth and ensuring that all four Hendrick Motorsports cars would be represented in NASCAR’s version of the playoffs. He ended the year with a 15th-place finish in the final NASCAR Cup Series point standings.
Off the track, Kahne fuses his racing interests with his entrepreneurial passion and runs Kasey Kahne Racing. The Mooresville, N.C.-based company was formed in 2005 and employs more than 20 people dedicated to sprint car racing. KKR fields entries in the World of Outlaws sprint car series and has amassed more than 100 wins. In 2013, KKR’s No. 9 Sprint Car team driven by Pittman won the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series championship making Kahne a first-time champion team owner.
Kahne also focuses on philanthropy through the Kasey Kahne Foundation – an organization that gives back to chronically ill children and their families, as well as disadvantaged youths. The Foundation raises funds through events ranging from concerts to sprint car races to foot races – notably the Five Kahne, an annual 5K charity run held in uptown Charlotte, N.C.