March 31, 2012
By Donalde z Smith
Last year was pretty productive for teenager, Dylan Kwasniewski.
In his first year in the K&N Pro Series West, Kwasniewski racked up some impressive statistics.
On his way to becoming the youngest driver in series history to win Sunoco “Rookie of the Year” (ROY) award, he recorded two wins; eight top-fives; nine top-tens; and two poles in the fourteen race schedule.
Kwasnieski had to miss the first race of the 2011 season, because he was only fifteen. He was required to wait until he turned sixteen (on May 31, 2011) to meet the NASCAR age requirement for participation. Incredibly, despite the shortened race schedule, Dylan managed to lead five hundred and thirty-two laps and finished fifth in the point standings.
He also claimed the title of the youngest driver in the K&N Pro Series to win a pole and the youngest driver to win a race when he won the Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150 from the pole at the Colorado National Speedway on August 6, 2011. Kwasniewski led 149 of the 152 laps in the No. 03 Rockstar/Royal Purple Ford at the .375-mile oval. He was sixteen years and two months old when he surpassed the mark previously held by Joey Logano. (Logano won at the Phoenix International Raceway on April 19, 2007 at age sixteen years and ten months)
Kwasnieski seems to be in a hurry on and off the track. Even though many a driver would remain satisfied to stay in one series at least one more year to concentrate solely on winning the championship, this teen is eager to conquer new challenges.
He is scheduled to make his NASCAR K&N Pro Series East debut on Saturday, March 31 by competing in the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet “150”. This, the second event on the 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East schedule, will be at Greenville Pickens Speedway (GPS) in South Carolina.
Photo Christian Petersen/Getty Images for NASCAR
No. 03 Rockstar/ Royal Purple Ford – driver Dylan Kwasniewski
“I’m really excited to have the opportunity to race a couple of East races with Steve DeSouza and Matt Lucas this year. It's going to be a learning experience for me with a new team, new tracks and drivers I'm not familiar with."
The Greenville Pickens Speedway opened on July 4, 1946, as a dirt track and was converted to asphalt in April, 1970. The race is schedule for one hundred and fifty laps. (75 miles on the .5 mile oval)
The starting field for the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet “150” is limited to thirty starters including Provisional Positions. Not that it has been an issue in the past; however, with only twenty-nine drivers on the entry list, Dylan Kwasniewski in the No. 20 Rockstar/Royal Purple Toyota will not have to worry about making the starting grid.
Nevertheless, Kwasniewski’s race competition this weekend will be hard-hitting. Eddie MacDonald (No. 71 Grimm Construction Chevrolet) has six wins, two poles, and 63 top 10s in 145 career starts. Brett Moffitt (No. 11 Kobe Toyopet Toyota) has seven wins, four poles, and 24 top 10s in 34 career starts. Moffitt is also the defending winner of the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet “150”, which he captured from the pole last year. Sergio Peña (No. 1 JMS Toyota) has three wins and 10 top 10s in 23 career NKNPS East starts.
NASCAR Race Mom’s personal favorite for the win this weekend, Darrell Wallace Jr. (No. 18 Coca-Cola Toyota), has five wins, three poles, and 18 top 10s in 23 career starts. Wallace Jr. has a win and an average finish of fourth in three previous races in Greenville.
"I think the racing in the East is going to be good. I'm out of my element there and that's not a bad thing for me because it forces me to really be on my game.” Kwasniewski informed me. “I have a great team, equipment and the support from my sponsors Rockstar Energy Drink and Royal Purple Oil."
It would not be a surprise to see Kwasniewski on the podium this Saturday. With the right equipment, Dylan’s experience* and confidence makes him a force to be reckoned with and a threat to win in any race. He finished second in the first 2012 K&N Pro Series West race on 03/03/2012.
While the race is not televised live, you can follow updates from the track throughout race day, by logging on to the “Lap By Lap: Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150” at http://hometracks.nascar.com/node/7418. The website Speed51. (www.Speed51.com) will also have staff doing live coverage and providing the production of the NASCAR Home Tracks Radio broadcast.
The Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 Schedule:
Saturday, March 31:
9:00 a.m. ----------- Garage opens. Inspection begins.
11:00 a.m. ---------- Mandatory Rookie Driver Meeting. Draw for qualifying order.
1:00 to 1:45 p.m. - Practice.
2:15 to 3:00 p.m. - Final Practice.
3:15 p.m. ------------ Qualifying Inspection begins. Groups determined by qualifying draw.
5:00 p.m. ------------ Mandatory Driver/Crew Chief Meeting.
6:00 p.m. ------------ Qualifying. (2 Laps.)
7:00 p.m. ------------ Mandatory Driver Autograph Session.
8:00 p.m. ------------ Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet “150”
Dylan Kwasniewski's Experience: 1) Started racing go-karts in 2000 at the age of 5; -- 2) moved to circle track racing at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway seven years later, competing in Bandolero Bandits class; graduated to Semi-Pro Legend Car series in 2008; won three championships, youngest in the history of the track, and was awarded Rookie of the Year honor; -- 3) moved up to Pro Legend division in 2009, winning track championship and state championship and finishing seventh in national points; -- 4) raced ASA Speed Truck series in 2009 and 2010; -- 5) also raced Lucas Oil Modifieds and Late Models in 2010 — competing at The Bullring; Toyota Speedway at Irwindale; Havasu 95 Speedway near Lake Havasu City, Ariz.; and Lucas Oil I-10 Speedway in Blythe, California.
Be sure to follow Dylan Kwasniewski on twitter @dylankracing. The youngster tweets frequently and is both informative and funny. On 03/03/2012 he tweeted, “Chances of winning the championship are looking pretty good (;”
Dylan Kwasniewski’s Website
If you would like to learn more about Donalde z Smith, please check out her web site at NASCAR Race Mom.
You can contact Donalde z Smith at .. Insider Racing News
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