Kasey Kahne is an American stock car racing driver who debuted in NASCAR in 2002, recording more than 700 race starts since then. He won 30 races, 17 times in the Sprint Cup races, eight times in the Nationwide (Busch) Series and five times in the Truck Series. Since 2012, Kahne is driving the #5 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports. He is also a team owner of the Kasey Kahne Racing, which competes in the World of Outlaws series and USAC Sprint Car Series.
Kasey Kahne was 2000 USAC National Midget champion
Kasey Kenneth Kahne was born on April 10, 1980, in Enumclaw, Washington. He started his racing career at the age 17, with open wheel sprint cars at Deming Speedway, before moving up to Skagit Speedway in Alger.
The next step was a move to USAC-sanctioned competitions, where he became the 2000 USAC National Midget Series champion. After that, he continued to run USAC races, but also tried to compete in the in the Toyota Atlantic Series, US F2000 Championship and the World of Outlaws.
NASCAR debut in 2002 Busch Series
In 2002, Kahne had a NASCAR debut with Robert Yates Racing in the Busch Series, driving the #98 Ford in twenty races. His best finish was a tenth-place at Cabela's 250 at Michigan International Speedway.
In 2003, Kahne moved to the #38 Ford of Akins Motorsports, competing full season in the Busch Series and finishing seventh in the points, what was his career-best result in that competition. Kasey won his first NASCAR race in the last round of the season, at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November.
2004 Rookie of the Year
2004 - Rookie of the Year in debut Cup season
In 2004, Kahne continued to race #38 Ford for Akins Motorsports, but he was also recruited to join Evernham Motorsports for his first season in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, to drive the #9 Dodge. Kahne had a fantastic start of the season, taking three top 5 results in first four races. He ended the year with 13 top 5 finishes and claimed Rookie of the Year honors.
In 2004, Kahne also made a pair of starts in the Craftsman Truck Series, driving the #2 Dodge for Ultra Motorsport at Darlington Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway at the end of the season. He won both races. Later in a career, Kahne had four more appearances in Truck races between 2010 and 2015, winning three times.
Maiden Cup victory at Richmond Raceway
After becoming the best rookie in his debut season, Kahne reached the first Cup victory in his sophomore season, at Richmond International Raceway in May. It was also the first win for the Dodge Charger, which returned to NASCAR that year.
Later in the season, Kahne struggled and finished 23rd in the points. In the Busch Series, he made 22 starts for Akins Motorsports, winning two races at Texas Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway.
2006 was Kahne's record season with six Cup wins
Six victories in 2006 Nextel Cup season
The season 2006 was Kahne's career-best when counting victories, as he scored six Nextel Cup Series wins. In the regular season, he was the winner at Atlanta, Texas, Charlotte, Michigan and Fontana. He qualified for the Chase as a 10th-placed driver. He added one more win on his account, at Charlotte Motor Speedway, finishing 8th in the final classification.
Kahne remained two more seasons with Gillett Evernham Motorsports. His biggest success was the victory at NASCAR Sprint All-Star race in May 2008.
Two seasons with Richard Petty Motorsports
Kahne switched to Richard Petty Motorsports in 2009 after two teams (Gillet Evernham Motorsports and Petty Enterprises) merged. He remained in the cockpit of #9 Dodge and scored two wins in his first season with Petty, finishing 10th in the points.
In October 2010, Kahne was released from contract with RPM and he joined Red Bull Racing for the remainder of the season. In 2011, he was driving the #4 Red Bull's Toyota and scored one victory, in the penultimate race of the season at Phoenix International Raceway.
Kahne joined Rick Hendrick's team in 2012
In 2012, Kasey Kahne joined Hendrick Motorsport, his current team. In the first season with #5 Chevrolet he won two times, at Charlotte and Loudon. He qualified for the Chase as a Wild Card entry and reached his career-best finish, ending the season fourth in the points.
The #5 Chevrolet was victorious three more times, at Bristol and Pocono in 2013, at Atlanta in 2014, increasing Kasey's number of Cup wins to seventeen. He scored no wins in 2015 and 2016.
Kahne' last Sprint Cup victory, in August 2014 at Atlanta
Successful team owner and charity worker
Kahne is also a successful team owner. The Kasey Kahne Racing, based in Mooresville, North Carolina, was formed in 2005. It fielded cars in the World of Outlaws and USAC Sprint Car series. In 2013, KKR’s #9 car driven by Daryn Pittman won the WOO championship.
One of Kasey's passions outside of racing is the Kasey Kahne Foundation, which he formed in 2005. In 2006, he was selected by President George W. Bush to serve as a member of the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation.
The foundation organizes an annual golf tournament to help raise funds for The Strong Against Cancer initiative on behalf of the Seattle Children’s Hospital. Kahne has also donated to lots of other organizations. One of the foundation’s more popular events is the annual “Five Kahne” running event in Charlotte, North Carolina.