Saturday, September 15, 2018

INTERVIEW: Kasey Kahne makes surprise visit to IndyCar finale at Sonoma

Kahne in the Ed Carpenter pits at Sonoma
PHOTO: Brock Beard
Kasey Kahne surprised many when he arrived at the Sonoma Raceway on Saturday and stood in Ed Carpenter’s pit, fueling speculation that he may be looking into open-wheel competition following his retirement from full-time Cup Series competition at the end of 2018.

However, when I asked Ed Carpenter about this on pit road just before IndyCar series qualifying, he gave a simple “No.” Kahne, Carpenter said, is a longtime friend, and was already in the area supporting his sprint car team, which was competing at nearby Calistoga Speedway, an hour's drive north of the Sonoma Raceway.

Kahne spent some time in Carpenter’s hauler before qualifying, then was showed the safety features of Jordan King’s #20 by members of the crew. As he did, I came up and joked with Kahne, saying “A last-minute driver change?” to which the driver smiled and shook his head. After the end of qualifying, I was able to ask him a couple questions:

WHAT’S THE LATEST ON YOUR RECOVERY FROM DARLINGTON?
Kahne: “Just a couple more weeks off, and be ready to go hopefully for Dover.”

I HEAR YOU’RE HERE FOR YOUR SPRINT CAR TEAM THIS WEEKEND?
Kahne: “Yeah. Daryn Pittman won last night and tonight’s the final night at Calistoga, so we go back over there tonight and it’s great hanging out here with Ed and his team today. It was a lot of fun.”

Through it all, Kahne appeared awake and alert, and the cool, windy weather at the track was surely helping. He was also staying hydrated, grabbing a bottled water before we spoke.

Regan Smith remains in the #95 for this Sunday’s South Point 400 at Las Vegas, where he will roll off 25th.

2 comments:

Racer Dogs said...

Nice Job Brock! Saves us all from "overspeculation" 8-)

Brock Beard said...

Glad I could get the quotes. I was on a mission once I heard he was there.