“I began principally Sunday night time, Monday speaking to some totally different house owners, personnel at totally different groups and simply making an attempt to point out that I actually need to nonetheless be within the Cup Collection.” (Photograph: Getty Pictures)&#thirteen;


BROOKLYN, Mich. – Kasey Kahne made his intentions for 2018 and past clear Friday at Michigan Worldwide Speedway.

4 days after the official announcement got here that he wouldn’t return to the seat of the No. 5 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports after this season, Kahne stated he nonetheless plans to race subsequent season and proceed to do it at NASCAR’s prime degree.

“I need to race right here and if there’s any alternative I might love to speak about it,” Kahne stated. “I began principally Sunday night time, Monday talked to some totally different house owners, personnel at totally different groups and simply making an attempt to point out that I actually need to nonetheless be within the Cup Collection.

“I actually assume that I can provide you with one thing good and provide you with one thing that might be enjoyable to be part of and in addition attempt to work arduous to make that group higher than it’s ever been and myself higher than I’ve been.”

Kahne’s win in final month’s Brickyard four hundred at Indianapolis Motor Speedway ended a 102-race winless streak courting again to Atlanta in August 2014, however it additionally sparked hypothesis he might have saved his journey with Hendrick Motorsports. 

“I nonetheless have that mindset and I actually hope that one thing works out to the place I might be in a robust automotive subsequent yr and luxuriate in racing on this collection, as a result of I’ve truly loved it for therefore lengthy and I’ve lived so most of the highs of the Cup Collection,” Kahne stated.

Kahne says that whereas he’s not operating for Hendrick Motorsports subsequent season, workforce proprietor Rick Hendrick needs to assist him discover a journey and keep in NASCAR. 

“Mr. Hendrick has been actually supportive and ensuring that you recognize he needs me in a automotive as properly,” Kahne stated. “You understand it didn’t work out within the No. 5, however he needs me in one other automotive and he needs me to be on the market racing subsequent yr.”

Hendrick stated earlier this week he felt chargeable for the No. 5 workforce not performing to expectations, one thing Kahne takes satisfaction in.

“To have any person like Rick Hendrick, Mr. Hendrick, to be in your aspect, although I’m not going to be a part of his staff anymore, to be in your aspect and the facility that he has on this sport and what he has finished for NASCAR for this sport for therefore many drivers and staff through the years,” Kahne stated.  “To have him behind you is a very good factor.”

Now that Kahne and his staff know their future, he stated issues have been enterprise as typical Friday at Michigan.

“The vibe was good,” Kahne stated. “The staff was good simply fairly just like all the time.  It was the primary time I had seen my guys because the information.  A whole lot of them weren’t on the store on Monday, in order that they have been advised by guys that have been on the store and I used to be gone at Knoxville this week.

“Right now it was cool everyone appeared good.  We simply type of went to work like all the time and hope to place collectively a very robust weekend.”

Kahne certified twenty fourth for Sunday’s Pure Michigan four hundred and whereas he does have three poles and one Michigan win on his resume, he has failed to complete within the prime 10 within the final six races within the Irish Hills. He says that whereas he has had velocity, the finishes haven’t mirrored his efficiency.

“I feel over the previous few races right here, the ultimate restart has put me from like seventh or eighth to thirteenth – fifteenth,” Kahne stated. “Clearly, the restarts to me, there’s a line that you’re put in and the place you go from there’s as much as the driving force so it’s a must to make issues occur within the first and second nook, however so far as the velocity of the automotive that’s one thing that I feel we now have made some positive factors in.”

Whereas restart place and velocity could also be one thing Kahne must work on in Saturday’s apply periods at Michigan, his want to race and to win on the prime degree of racing continues to be robust, as is his want to be thought-about one of many prime drivers within the sport.

“I’ve gained 18 races myself and we had six wins in a single yr,” Kahne stated. “I simply actually assume I can provide you with one thing that might be very aggressive and have the ability to be within the Cup Collection for some time to return. I’ve lived a terrific a part of the game, been a part of all that and I don’t need to be carried out but.”