One day after Kasey Kahne announced his decision to retire from full-time NASCAR racing, he faced the media at Bristol Motor Speedway to explain why.
Essentially, it came down to this: At 38 years old, Kahne could sense he was tired of devoting his life to racing and knew he wouldn’t be able to commit himself to another full year on the NASCAR grind.
Here are five of Kahne’s comments on the decision, in his own words:
— — On being committed: “When I was young, my dad was all about if you do something, you do it 100 percent. You put everything you have into it. When my parents finally said yes for me to go racing at 14 (years old) like it was 100 percent from that point on and it’s all that I’ve thought about. … Twenty-five years later, it’s just a lot and it will be nice to not have that on my mind full-time.”
— On why he wanted to keep racing after Hendrick: “When we first started talking (to Leavine), it was going to be fresh, new, something different. It was exciting to me, so I wanted to give it one more shot with a different group and a different company and I did that. We have had some success this year, we have also had races where we all wanted them to be better and then we have had some races that weren’t good at all. But the successful days make me happy on Monday and excited to come back for that next race. But I just kind of ran out of that anymore.”
— On the potential for other offers: “There were a few other offers 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. 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.”
— On driving again in NASCAR: “I feel like I can still go out and win races and be competitive. Why be completely done if there is an opportunity to do a couple of races — a Daytona 500, a Brickyard, or whatever it may be? Or maybe never drive another Cup car after Homestead. I’m not sure. But I still love racing. If I can help out at some point, I’d love to get in the car probably and still do some driving.”
— On dirt racing: “I could see myself doing 40 or 50 sprint car races next year. Not a full deal, because that doesn’t do me much good for backing off a bit. But you can do 40 or 50 races in about three months in that deal and still have eight or nine months to do other things.”