during practice for the NASCAR Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway on February 11, 2011 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Kasey Kahne opens up about joining Leavine Family Racing

Hendrick Motorsports opted to move on from veteran driver Kasey Kahne after this season, but Kahne quickly found another ride with Leavine Family Racing.

Kahne has 18 wins during his career, and he's currently in the playoffs. Hendrick Motorsports decided to replace Kahne with William Byron for next season, while Leavine is replacing Michael McDowell with Kahne in the No. 95 car.

Kahne told Auto Week that he thinks his experience in the Cup Series can make a big difference in his transition to LFR.

"I want to be a good leader and a good motivator," Kahne said. "I'm really looking forward to having everything focused on my car, on making that one car faster week after week.

"If you're not all-in and if everybody isn't pointing in the right direction, you're not going to make the progress you're looking for. I want to apply my experiences to Leavine Family Racing because that experience can be a benefit for us to keep improving. I've learned a lot along the way, and it all adds up."

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Kahne was one of the last drivers to qualify for the postseason after he won the Brickyard 400. He had missed the playoffs the previous two seasons, which likely led to Hendrick Motorsports deciding the part ways with him.

But his experience and ability should be a good fit for Leavine Family Racing, and he will continue driving a Chevrolet for Leavine.

Kahne is on the cusp of being eliminated from the playoffs unless he can improve and have a quality finish on Sunday at Dover. He is one of four drivers facing elimination as Sunday's race will determine which 12 drivers advance.