Kasey Kahne said he and former crew chief Travis Mack were “fine” but that Mack and team owner Bob Leavine “didn’t see eye-to-eye.”
Kahne made the comments Thursday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “SiriusXM Speedway.”
Leavine Family Racing announced it was replacing Mack with team engineer Jon Leonard on June 16. Mack was in his first year as a crew chief after working as a car chief at Hendrick Motorsports.
Last week’s race at Sonoma was Kahne’s first with Leonard as interim crew chief of the No. 95 Chevrolet. They finished 20th.
“We got along fine, we worked really hard together,” Kahne said of Mack. “He was really open to my feedback and working with me. I was open to him and the direction he was pushing along. He was learning a lot and working hard at the same time with the team on a race weekend. I was behind Travis the entire time. He and Bob didn’t see eye-to-eye in a few areas. … I feel they got off-track with each other more than anything else. Because of that they made a change.”
On June 20, Leavine shared his side of the dismissal, saying it wasn’t an “off-the-cuff” decision and that he kept Kahne “in the loop continually.”
“When I hired him last year, it was about giving him the best car we could,” Leavine said. “I just didn’t feel to a point we were doing that. And you just can’t keep doing the same thing if you expect a different result.”
In the 15 races before Mack’s departure, Kahne’s average finish was 24th. His best result was 17th three times (Texas, Talladega and Dover).
Kahne, who is 28th in points, hasn’t provided the team with an improvement from last year when Michael McDowell drove the No. 95.
Last year, McDowell had an average finish of 23.7 entering Sonoma. He went on to place 14th at Sonoma and then fourth the following week at Daytona.
“Overall, Bob’s looking at the big picture, looking at things he feels will help our team the rest of this season and in the future,” Kahne said. “I don’t like being part of those changes, I don’t think anyone does, but that was something they wanted to do.