Kasey Kahne will run a test session this week to determine whether he can return behind the wheel in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series next weekend at Dover International Speedway.
The Leavine Family Racing driver will likely need to simulate a full race period, as his symptoms of severe dehydration begin to show about two hours into a race. Kahne has not competed since Labor Day weekend at Darlington Raceway, where he became so ill he needed to receive care at the track and then consulted his doctors about the ongoing condition.
“I could feel this coming on for — there were times last year when I definitely felt it,” Kahne said earlier this month. “This year it’s been much more consistent. I feel good the first part of the race until I lose that amount of fluids. At that point it’s when it starts going that direction, I can’t keep back up.
“I work out three, four days a week. I run, I bike, I lift, I do interval work, whatever it may be. I feel great doing all that stuff. I’m in really good shape. That’s not the issue at all. Thirty minutes to an hour workout and I’m fine. Just like in the Cup race I’m fine for the first hour, two hours probably. Then it starts going downhill from there.
“So we’re just going through that stuff, trying to find a way to be able to put together a whole race and not hurt my body internally by the end of each race when they’re this hot right now.”
If the test goes well and pending doctor approval, Kahne will return to the No. 95 Chevrolet for Dover.
Regan Smith will drive the car for the fourth consecutive week Sunday afternoon at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Smith finished 20th at Indianapolis, 12th at Las Vegas and 31st last weekend at Richmond.