Kasey Kahne will sit out this weekends NASCAR events at Indy

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JULY 23: Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motorspeedway on July 23, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

The winner of last year’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Brickyard 400 will not be defending his race win this weekend.

Leavine Family Racing issued a statement Thursday night revealing the news that Kahne will not be competing this weekend.  The team said that Kahne will sit out, “due to lingering effects from extreme heat exhaustion following last weekend’s events at Darlington Raceway.”

The statement said following Sunday night’s race at Darlington, Kahne was taken to the track’s care center where he was treated for heat exhaustion.  Several days later, Kahne opted to consult with several physicians who recommended that he sit out from this weekend’s events at Indianapolis until further testing and evaluations are completed.

Regan Smith will serve as the team’s substitute driver this weekend and a timeframe for Kahne’s return to the No. 95 Chevrolet has not been established. Leavine Family Racing will provide an update next week regarding plans for the Las Vegas Motor Speedway event.

Kahne won at Indy last year in what turned out to be his last season with Hendrick Motorsports. He moved to LFR this year and announced earlier this year that this will be his last season as a fulltime NASCAR driver. It is widely rumored that he will be replaced by Daniel Suarez who will leave Joe Gibbs Racing to make room for Martin Truex Jr.