By Toby Christie
According to Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press, Kasey Kahne has received permission from his NASCAR car owner — Rick Hendrick — to race in the upcoming Chili Bowl sprint car race in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Kahne will drive a sprint car much like the one his friend, and competitor in NASCAR, Tony Stewart was injured in last season. Speaking of Stewart, the three-time Sprint Cup Series champion will be part of a joint effort in fielding Kahne’s car.
Why would Kahne take such a risk? To honor a fallen friend, Jason Leffler.
Helping field the car alongside Stewart will be Julianna Patterson (The late Jason Leffler’s girlfriend) and Bob East (former father in law).
Kahne, and Stewart were long time friends of Jason Leffler, and both jumped at the opportunity to honor their friend.
The original plan last year was for Leffler to run this race, before the journeyman driver paid the ultimate price for the thing he loved to do the most, race.
There are nearly 250 drivers already entered for the Chili Bowl, which takes place January 14th-18th. Other NASCAR-related drivers on the preliminary entry list include: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kyle Larson and former NASCAR driver Bryan Clauson.
Toby Christie owner and lead NASCAR writer for Sicknissified.com, and he is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly radio show. Toby is a proud member of the NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) and can be reached via twitter or email. Tweet him @Tobalical or email him at tobalical AT sicknissified DOT com
- Sprint Cup Driver Review: Kasey Kahne (motorsportstalk.nbcsports.com)
- Stewart wreck brings spotlight on sprint cars (bigstory.ap.org)