Once one of NASCAR's most promising young stars, it's been almost three years since Kasey Kahne stepped out of a stock car for the final time and returned to his roots as a sprint car racer. While Kahne had been enjoying a reduced role as a driver on dirt, a new opportunity has presented itself for Kahne to get back to the grind of racing full-time.
On Wednesday, Roth Motorsports announced that Kasey Kahne would drive the team's No. 83 for the remainder of the 2021 World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series season. Kahne, who raced for the Central California-based team in the early 2000s, will run the remaining 24 races on the schedule in World of Outlaws competition.
This will mark Kahne's first full-time racing duties since his NASCAR career came to an unceremonious end three years ago.
Kahne, who raced in the Cup Series from 2004 to 2018 and had 18 career wins, was forced to retire after the 2018 Southern 500 due to a health issue that caused him to experience severe dehydration and an elevated heart rate during long and physically demanding stock car races.
"I am really excited and thankful for the opportunity that (car owners) Dennis and Teresa Roth are providing me to race with a great team for the last ¼ of the season," Kahne said in a team press release. "It'll be really fun, and challenging, going to some new places as we work hard to run up front every night with the World of Outlaws. We had a great trip to Knoxville, and I am looking forward to getting back to it and really getting started this weekend."
Although Kahne ran the first eight races of the World of Outlaws season as a substitute driver, he had settled into his role as the owner of Kasey Kahne Racing until he was called into action in last week's Knoxville Nationals. After driver Aaron Reutzel was suspended one month for racing with an illegal chassis, Roth Motorsports hired Kahne to fill in at Knoxville, where he made the A Main and finished eighth.
During his NASCAR career, Kahne burst on to the scene as a young phenom in the mid-2000s in a career that saw him drive for car owners Ray Evernham, Richard Petty and Rick Hendrick, among others. Kahne's most notable moments included a 2006 season where he won six races, a 2012 season where he finished a career-best fourth in points and victories in both the Coca-Cola 600 (2006, 2008) and Brickyard 400 (2017).