Kasey Kahne says it would be a "dream" for him to race for the $5 million prize up for grabs for guest drivers in the IZOD IndyCar Series season finale at Las Vegas.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winner is in the shortlist of drivers who could potentially take on the challenge of beating the IndyCar regulars in October at the 1.5-mile track. The 31-year-old, one of NASCAR's most popular drivers, says there are still plenty of issues to iron out in order for him to go ahead with his wish of entering the event.
He stated that the Vegas event schedule cannot affect his NASCAR duties that same weekend as he will be competing for Red Bull Racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the fifth event of the Chase for the Sprint Cup the day before the IndyCar finale. Kahne currently ranks outside the top 12 in the drivers' standings but a win in the coming seven weeks would potentially place him among the title contenders making the play-off.
"I think it just has to make sense," said Kahne about racing at Las Vegas. "They're trying to set it up to where you can get back and forth. I'd miss a practice session or two. But it starts pretty early in the week out in Vegas.
"There's no way it could affect my Red Bull [NASCAR] deal at all or I wouldn't even think about doing it, if it affected what I was doing at Charlotte. As long as it didn't do that, [and] some of the other little things I've got to go over, I'd definitely look into it.
"If you could get in the right car, work with the right guys, have enough time to feel like you were prepared going into a a race... I don't think you just get in an IndyCar and race. It's a high-speed sport. You got to know what you're doing. If I can spend the time to figure out what I'm doing and work with the right guys, it's something I would look at."
Last weekend Kahne was involved in a massive crash during a sprint car race in a World of Outlaws event at the half-mile Williams Grove clay oval. He often competes in sprint car races as he fields his own squad, similar to his NASCAR colleague Tony Stewart. Next year Kahne is set to join Hendrick Motorsports, entering a multi-year deal that will most likely provide him with his best shot at becoming Sprint Cup champion.
When asked if he had already discusses the possibility of racing at Vegas with his future boss Rick Hendrick, Kahne replied he has brought the subject up in the past but hinted he would definitely look for his final approval.
"Well, I've brought it up to him in the past, about some other things," said Kahne. "That would be somebody that I'd definitely have to talk to, see if it made sense. It's not just me. There's a lot of other people involved. It would be a little bit of a process before I'd know or not if I was going to do it.
"I really like IndyCar racing. I like what they do. I've driven them a couple times, enjoyed it. I drove in a testing situation, which is way different than racing situation. I'd have to do it in a race. It would be kind of a dream of mine that I've always wanted to do."
Kahne tested an IndyCar for the first time in December 2000, running at Texas Motor Speedway for Panther Racing while still racing sprint cars. A year later, aged 21, he drove in a private test session for Bobby Rahal's Champ Car team at the Homestead road course layout before turning his focus to NASCAR.