Reigning Brickyard 400 winner Kasey Kahne, under doctors’ advice, will not defend his title in the Cup Series event this weekend because ongoing issues with dehydration are causing him to experience an elevated heart rate.
Regan Smith will drive the No. 95 Chevrolet at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in his place.
Kahne told The Associated Press on Friday that he struggled with heat exhaustion during last weekend’s Southern 500 at Darlington, S.C., particularly in the final 100 laps or so.
“I definitely shouldn’t have been in the race car anymore,” Kahne said. “I stayed out there, put my body through it, my brain, my head. It was really hard to keep my eyes open and see. I was struggling to do that. I was trying to control my heart rate because it was so high.”
He received fluids in the medical center following Sunday’s race after he was nauseous and struggled to take in fluids during the race and vomited afterward.
Kahne, 38, has announced his retirement as a driver and conceded Friday that the ongoing health issues factored into that decision. He said he suffered from heat exhaustion during a handful of races in 2017, including the Brickyard in July, his most recent victory.
Although he is retiring after the season, Kahne says he would like to race again this year. He told The Associated Press that he is looking for a way to race next week at Las Vegas but admitted the forecast — temperature in the 90s — is a concern.