Dylan Kwasniewski has only been old enough to drive on the streets for a couple of months. He became the youngest driver to win a NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race on Saturday night, two months after his 16th birthday.
K&N Pro Series West Racer Dylan Kwasniewski
Kwasniewski won the pole, led all but three laps and won the K&N Pro Series West race at Colorado National Speedway.
Dylan Kwasniewski became the youngest driver to win a K&N Pro Series race in either the West or East series.
He became the youngest driver to win a K&N Pro Series West pole, breaking the mark set by 19-year-old Spencer Clark in 2006 at Phoenix International Raceway, and then became the youngest driver to win a K&N Pro Series race in either the West or East series.
Kwasniewski broke the West Series record set by Joey Logano, who won his first K&N Pro Series West race at Phoenix International Raceway on April 19, 2007, when he was 16 years and 10 months.
Darrell Wallace Jr. was the youngest driver to win a K&N Pro Series East race when he was 16 years, five months.
Kwasniewski, a rookie driver for Gene Price Motorsports, ran a nearly flawless race in the Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150 at Colorado National Speedway and survived a green-white-checker flag finish with teammnate Greg Purlsey in his rear-view mirror.
Kwasniewski leads the K&N Pro Series West race at Colorado National Speedway.
"The Rockstar Energy Drink/Royal Purple Ford was awesome," Kwasniewski said. "Gene Price Motorsports put together a great car. I had a perfect night. I couldn't ask for anything better."
Kwasniewski led from the green flag until lap 144. He lost his lead to Alex Bowman, a rookie driver from the K&N Pro Series East, on lap 145. But Bowman spun out Kwasniewski on his pass for the lead. Bowman was penalized for rough driving and sent to the rear of the field.
"I knew the 59 (Bowman) was putting up a good fight and I got a little bit nervous, except I knew we had a great car," Kwasniewski said. "I knew I wasn't burning up the tires. I got a little loose sometimes if I upset the car, but nothing that was going to hurt the car. I knew we were going to be there at the end."
Kwasniewski's spin set up a green-white-checker finish. The K&N Pro Series West rookie took the lead on the restart and held off Pursley over the final two laps of the race. Bowman ended up in ninth place and was the second to last driver on the lead lap.
"It was a great race tonight," Pursley said after the race on Saturday. "The car was just too free the whole night. We're happy to come out of here with a second. This is really good for our big picture. I'm just really proud of Gene Price Motorsports. Our 16-year-old driver, Dylan, did an awesome job tonight and got his first win."
Kwasniewski posted his sixth top-five finish of the season and is in seventh place in the K&N Pro Series West standings. He did not enter the first race of the West Series season at Phoenix International Raceway in February because he wasn't old enough to race.
"I'm looking to win in every series and I'm glad I got my first one," Kwasniewski said. "We've been close a couple of times. We've been fighting with my teammate, Greg. I'm glad that I finally got a win."
Pursley extended his lead in the K&N Pro Series West standings. He has a 253-point lead over Moses Smith after 10 races. Smith finished sixth in the race at Colorado National Speedway.
"It's great to come back to Colorado National Speedway," Pursley said. "It's always great coming here. They have a lot of great fans that come out and support the series. Every time we come out here to race, this place is packed. So, we love coming here."
Brett Thompson was third in the race, followed by Luis Martinez Jr. and Eric Holmes.
"I'll tell you what, it was a fun race tonight," Thompson said. "Lot of green flag racing. That's what these fans come to see. That's, as racers, what we come here to do. Really appreciate Greg racing me hard and clean. If I could have gotten a little more drive off of 2, I could have got him."
The Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150 will be broadcast on Speed on Aug. 25 at 6 p.m. ET.
The next K&N Pro Series West race is the Toyota/TTC 150 at Montana Raceway Park on Aug. 13.
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