If you didn’t know that Leavine Family Racing existed before, you do now. Were you like me? This morning, I read the headline that Kasey Kahne has signed with the team for 2018, and I thought “What???”
LFR owner Bob Leavine says his team wants to move up, and among the current crop of free agents to be, names don’t get much bigger than Kahne. As Leavine said himself, Kahne is a playoff caliber driver.
This is good news for Leavine Family Racing, but what about Kahne? Is this a move towards racing anonymity? I mean, who is Leavine Family Racing?
Well, in point of fact, LFR is the owner of the 95 car currently piloted by Michael McDowell. Others who have driven for Leavine Family Racing includes Scott Speed and Reed Sorenson. If you didn’t really know they existed, there may be a reason why: during the course of their history, LFR has no wins nor any pole awards. Mc Dowell currently sits in 25th for the season; that’s by no means horrible, but it obviously doesn’t put you in the spotlight either.
Not only has Leavine Family Racing brought attention to their name by bringing on a big name, it should also be a boon for potential advertisers. Kasey Kahne is sponsor-friendly and makes any benefactor look good on camera.
If a team wants to raise their profile, this is how you do it. Concerning whether it benefits Kahne is an interesting question. It does keep him in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series- his overarching goal. If he can help LFR achieve its goals, it does a great deal to support the notion of Kahne as a top tier talent.
We’re not predicting success nor failure; that has to play out. Technically aligned with Richard Childress Racing, Leavine Family Racing is not on the island alone. While RFR doesn’t mentioned in the same breath, as say, Joe Gibbs, they are a solid ally to have in your corner.
Kasey Kahne fans, before you go saying “Well, there goes his career,” I hearken back to a true life tale. Cast aside by Roger Penske, Kurt Busch signed a one year deal with Furniture Row Racing. Prior to that, the team was a NASCAT outlier. While he didn’t got out and win scores of races for FRR, he did raise the team’s profile. When he left for Stewart-Haas, along comes Martin Truex Jr. Like Kahne, Truex was down on his luck and appeared headed towards oblivion. It took a bit of time, but we know how that turned out.
Is it reach to think that Kasey Kahne can do the same for Leavine Family Racing? We will soon find out.