Kasey Kahne’s NASCAR career appears to be finished.
The driver announced Tuesday on Twitter that he has not been medically cleared to resume racing in the Monster Energy Cup Series, bringing a premature end to his final season on the circuit.
Kahne, 38, announced in August that he would step away from full-time racing after the 2018 season, with health issues a prominent factor in his decision. He said at the time he suffered from heat exhaustion at several races last year, and the situation came to a head at Darlington this September. He admitted following that race he was having a hard time keeping his eyes open during the final 100 laps, and he vomited after the race.
Kahne had hoped to run at least one more time in 2018 but that won’t happen. He said in his statement Tuesday that he was not cleared by doctors after a test session last week at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
— Kasey Kahne (@kaseykahne) October 9, 2018
“Out of the race car I am perfectly healthy, I feel great, and the doctors have determined that I have no underlying health problems” he said. “My body just can’t handle extended periods of time in the race car and we weren’t able to control the sweat ratio to keep me hydrated enough to prevent any permanent damage to my body.”
Kahne said he plans to continue racing on dirt tracks, but it sounds like his NASCAR days are done: “I am looking forward to getting back in a sprint car soon. With much shorter races and open cockpits, there is no issue with my health or hydration with that type of racing.”
Kahne started 529 Cup Series races in his 15-year career, winning 18 — most recently the 2017 Brickyard 400. He managed just one top-10 finish this year, placing fourth in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona.