Kasey Kahne 'at ease' after deciding to stop driving full-time NASCAR slate

Kasey Kahne will no longer race in the NASCAR Cup Series full time after the 2018 season, he announced Thursday morning.

The 38-year-old Kahne, 28th in the series standings in his first year at Leavine Family Racing, has 18 career wins in 527 starts over a 15-year-career.

"I've thought about this decision for many months, if not longer," Kahne tweeted Thursday. "It's time for me to step away from racing in NASCAR full time. ... Racing in Cup full time for a few more years was just something that I couldn't commit to.

"I'm not sure what the future holds for me, but I know I'm at ease with the decision that I have made. The highs didn't outweigh the lows and the grueling schedule takes a toll on your quality of life."

Debuting in Cup as a driver for team owner Ray Evernham in 2004, Kahne was with that organization as it was later bought by George Gillett and then merged with Richard Petty Motorsports. Late in the 2010 season, Kahne moved over to Red Bull Racing, which had hired him knowing he would leave after the 2011 season to drive for Hendrick Motorsports.

Hendrick released Kahne after last season, and he moved to the single-car Leavine operation.

Kahne won six races in just his third season in 2006 and finished eighth in points. His best points finish was fourth in 2012. He has won two races with 13 top-5s in the past five years. He also has eight Xfinity Series wins and five truck victories in six career starts in the series.

He owns teams that compete in the World of Outlaws sprint-car series. Kasey Kahne Racing driver Brad Sweet won the prestigious Knoxville (Iowa) Nationals on Saturday night.

"I need to spend more time doing the things I enjoy and love and that's spending time with [my 2-year-old son] Tanner and my sprint car teams," Kahne wrote. "I've had a great career in racing and met so many amazing people and fans along the way."