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K&N NASCAR Pro Series West Season Comes to a Close with Dylan Kwasniewski on Top

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Dylan Kwasniewski drives the number 3 K&N Pro Series West car
Dylan Kwasniewski drives the number 3 K&N Pro Series West car
Dylan Kwasniewski rewrote the NASCAR record book once again by becoming the youngest driver to win the K&N Pro Series West championship.

He already was the youngest driver to win the Sunoco Rookie of the Year award and the youngest driver to win a NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race.

With a runner-up finish in the season finale at Phoenix International Raceway, Kwasniewski secured his first K&N Pro Series West championship, denying his Gene Price Motorsports teammate, Greg Pursley, a chance to repeat as champion.
17 year old Dylan Kwasniewski is the youngest Pro Series West driver to win a championship
17 year old Dylan Kwasniewski is the youngest Pro Series West driver to win a championship


“I haven’t even taken it into consideration yet,” the 17-year-old Kwasniewski said. “It’s awesome. All of this started with my dad. This was his legacy and I wanted to make sure this happened for him.”

Randy Kwasniewski, Dylan’s dad, died three years ago. Since then, his son has won five races in the K&N Pro Series West and has become the top driver in the series.

“We finally got the championship,” Kwasniewski said. “All I had to do was go out there and drive. These guys worked their butts off to get the car ready for me. I have to thank the crew for it. It was a great year. We’re going to go into the East Series and hopefully do the same thing.”

K&N Pro Series racer Michael Self celebrates with some typical donuts
K&N Pro Series racer Michael Self celebrates with some typical donuts
Kwasniewski was 17 years, 5 months and 10 days old when he won the K&N Pro Series West championship. Chuck Brown held the previous record for youngest West Series champion at 22 years, 7 months and 11 days.

Kwasniewski plans to move to the K&N Pro Series East next season and perhaps race in select NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events.

“I’m going to go and race against those guys,” Kwasniewski said. “I think it’s going to be the same thing. Those guys in the East Series race really good. I’m excited to go out there and run with them. They’re all really good drivers, same as in the West, but I gotta get some more diversity and some more seat time in different cars. I’m excited. I’m really looking forward to going out there.”

Micahel Self put togehter a successful season with wins at Brainerd, Minnesota, and Iowa
Micahel Self put togehter a successful season with wins at Brainerd, Minnesota, and Iowa
Kwasniewski finished six points ahead of Pursley in the K&N Pro Series West standings. Pursley won four K&N Pro Series West races in 2012, but finished in sixth place in the season finale Casino Arizona 50.

Michael Self won the race, his third of the season. He started on the front row with pole winner Cale Conley. Self took the lead on the first lap and was out front for all 50 laps.

“Not a whole lot to say. Just an unbelievable race,” Self said. “The car underneath us was phenomenal, lap after lap. It never missed a beat. From the start we knew what we had to do. A 50-lap race is really short. We knew those tires would last the entire length. Just get out and get in front as early as we can and pull a gap, that’s exactly what we did. It makes things comfortable when we have a good car like that.”

Conley finished behind Self and Kwasniewski in third place in the race.

“We had a pretty good race,” Conley said. “Michael Self raced us really hard and clean there the first couple laps and he got the lead from us. We had a pretty tight race car. It was hard to force the issue especially under breaking, getting into the corner.”

Finish line at Phoenix International Raceway
Finish line at Phoenix International Raceway
Self won the K&N Pro Series West races at Brainerd International Raceway, a road course in Minnesota, and at Iowa Speedway. But he said racing at big tracks like Phoenix International Raceway is a good way to prepare for moving up the NASCAR ladder.

“Coming to places like this makes a really big difference,” Self said. “There’s a lot of room to race at tracks like this. Hopefully when we move in to the upper series, the Trucks, Nationwide, even the Cup Series, these are the tracks we are going to be racing on. Really looking forward to getting the experience on these tracks and making the best of them when we have the opportunity too.”

Austin Dyne finished in 13th place at Phoenix and won the Sunoco Rookie of the Year, finishing one point ahead of Cameron Hayley.

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