Photo courtesy The Drive Event

Photo courtesy The Drive Event

Q&A with Kasey Kahne

Q: This year will be the third-annual Drive event. What makes this event a priority in your schedule every year? 

A: The Drive is such a cool event, and it has grown so much in just the first two years. I love that area of Washington and everyone that comes out to support it and make it such a great event. We were able to add Safeway this year as a title sponsor, and we have Farmers Insurance and Great Clips returning as major partners.

Q: What’s your favorite course to practice your swing? 

A: I usually play in a few tournaments a year throughout the country for different sponsors. There is a driving range not far from Kasey Kahne Racing in North Carolina that I will go and hit some balls at when I have time.

Q: What made you decide to benefit children with cancer through your foundation, and not one of the other chronic illnesses that affect people every day? 

A: Russell was already involved in the Strong Against Cancer program with Seattle Children’s Hospital, and I had a chance to visit the hospital last year before the tournament and see what they are doing for pediatric cancer. What they are doing there for those kids is amazing. To be able to cure children with leukemia is incredible, and just to be able to contribute to a small part of that is important to The Drive and the Kasey Kahne Foundation.

Q: Driving a racecar is far more taxing than a daily commute. How do you keep your mind and body in shape for the track? 

A: I have a trainer, Ryan Von Ruedon, who I work with four or five times a week, and he keeps me in shape and helps me train for the dehydration and exhaustion that comes with racing cars, especially in the summer months.

Q: What is a personal habit of yours that has contributed to your success? 

A: I am very thorough and hands-on. I like to put a lot into everything I do, from racing, to running Kasey Kahne Racing, to working out.

Q: Do you have any predictions for the upcoming racing season? 

A: Everyone at Hendrick Motorsports has been working really hard to get the team where we need to be, and it has been showing in our performance.

Q&A with Russell Wilson

Q: This year will be the third-annual Drive event. What makes this event a priority in your schedule every year?

A: The Drive is an important event to bring the community together to raise awareness and donations for the Strong Against Cancer initiative for Seattle Children’s Hospital. It is a fun event filled with good music, great golf, and a meaningful mission. What more could you want?

Q: How did you connect with Kasey to launch this event?

A: I met Kasey through some mutual friends. Turns out he is a huge Seahawks fan. And I grew up in Richmond, Virginia, where everybody knows NASCAR, so it was a no-brainer when his team asked us to partner with their event.

Q: What’s your favorite course to practice your swing?

A: Tumble Creek, of course.

Q: You recently handed out toys, Amazon Kindle devices, and gift cards donated by your Why Not You Foundation to Seattle Children’s patients. Why is it important to you to give back with your time, and not simply write a check? 

A: It is important to show up and be present. I love spending time with kids at Seattle Children’s, at my football camps, and throughout the community. I feel so fortunate to be a part of this great area and to give of my time and energy, which I look forward to doing for many years.

Q: Do you run the Why Not You Foundation personally, or do you have a team of people to manage it? How involved are you in developing foundation initiatives, such as Pass the Peace? 

A: I am very involved in the decisions and initiatives for the Why Not You Foundation. Last May, I hired an executive director to run my foundation, and I have a small team working to make a meaningful difference in the community.

Q: What is a personal habit of yours that has contributed to your success?

A: My father always instilled in me the value of consistency, working over and over on the minutest details until they were absolutely perfect. He would keep me out late making sure my footwork and timing were impeccable, but at the same time always find ways to make it fun for me.

Q: Do you have any predictions for the upcoming football season?

A: Hopefully another Lombardi Trophy for the great city of Seattle.

This article appeared in the June 2016 issue of 425 Business.