Throwback paint schemes have become NASCAR tradition for the yearly Labor Day weekend Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina, but Kasey Kahne isn’t waiting until then. His No. 95 Leavine Family Racing team unveiled Tuesday a throwback paint scheme for Saturday night’s Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.
The paint scheme on the No. 95 Chevrolet on Saturday night will be a commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Kahne’s 2008 All-Star Race win. In that race, Kahne was the driver of the No. 9 Dodge of now-defunct Gillett-Evernham Motorsports. Kahne advanced from the Open to the All-Star Race that year, by virtue of winning the fan vote. Then, he became the first, and to this point only, All-Star Race winner after advancing to the event by fan vote.
“It was so awesome that the fans voted us into the All-Star race back in 2008,” Kahne said in a press release from Leavine Family Racing. “It really was special to get voted into the race, and then, to have a great car to be able to drive our way to the front in order to make strategy calls that put us in position to win. Our paint scheme for this weekend looks so similar to that scheme we ran in 2008‘s event, that it‘s been cool to see it in the shop as the guys have been getting ready for this weekend. I‘m looking forward to racing it this weekend, and hopefully, the paint scheme can bring us the same result we had 10 years ago.”
Kahne is among 17 drivers already qualified for the 2018 All-Star Race, without having to drive his way in through the preliminary race to be held earlier the same evening. Kahne’s eligibility for this year’s event is two-fold as the winner of the 2017 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and as a previous victor of the All-Star Race. Drivers who won a Cup Series points-paying race in 2017 or to this point in 2018, as well as previous All-Star Race winners among active drivers, are eligible for this year's event. Other drivers have the opportunity to compete for a spot in the All-Star Race through advancement from the Monster Energy Open. Stage and race winners will advance from the Open to the All-Star Race, along with a driver selected by fan vote.
The 2018 All-Star Race is scheduled for an approximate 8 p.m. green flag Saturday and will air live on FOX Sports 1.