Dylan Kwasniewski has already conquered the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. He took his first step in conquest of the K&N Pro Series East. Kwasniewski won the DRIVE4COPD 125 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee, the season opener in the K&N Pro Series East.
Dylan Kwasniewski won the DRIVE4COPD 125 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee
K&N Pro Series West Champion Dylan Kwasniewski at Bristol Motor Speedway
"My car was working everywhere and I think that's what made us win the race," Kwasniewski said, "because we go could all the way high and all the way low without having any trouble at all."
He won the K&N Pro Series West championship last season with Gene Price Motorsports. Kwasniewski, a 17-year-old from Las Vegas, is competing in the K&N Pro Series East with Scott Turner Motorsports.
He took the lead in the race at Bristol on lap 30 and stayed out front for the final 96 laps of the race. It was his first race at Bristol and the first K&N Pro Series win for Scott Turner Motorsports.
"We definitely took to it pretty quick," Kwasniewski said. "To have a crew that gave me the best car possible, we went out there and I played around with the lines a little bit and got to where I needed to be and I knew what we needed to do to win that race."
DRIVE4COPD 125 Trophy at Bristol Motor Speedway goes to K&N Pro Series West Racer Dylan Kwasniewski
Rookie Michael McGuire won the pole and led the first 29 laps of the race. He was collected behind lapped traffic under caution and lost his lead to Kwasniewski.
"My car pretty much worked everywhere," Kwasniewski said. "The high lane was definitely good for trying to get tire management. I pretty much stayed in the middle to high just tried to keep my tires under me and make sure I had some stuff saved for the end. When I went down low, it was so fast down there. On the restarts, I definitely tried to get my car down there to gain that extra track position right away, to gain that gap right off the restart."
Brett Moffitt pressed Kwasniewski on seven restarts in the race, but couldn't pass for the lead. Moffitt crossed the finish line in second.
"It was fun racing," Moffitt said. "The outside groove was fun. It's not very many tracks we get to do that. That's what's great about Bristol. Glad to come out of here second."
Moffitt finished in third place in the K&N Pro Series East standings in 2012. The season opener at Bristol last year produced a 32nd place finish. His team is off to a much better start this year.
"We had a rough start last year," Moffitt said. "We came here just saying if we finish the race and beat 33rd or wherever then we'll have less of a hole to dig out of. That's what we did. It's a great weight lifted our shoulders to start the season in the top three, top two in points and hopefully we can stay there."
Ryan Gifford was third, followed by McGuire in fourth and CJ Faison in fifth.
"This is a good start to the year," said Gifford. "This kind of race shows us that what we did over the winter was going in the right direction. I think we'll be able to contend all year."
Kenzie Ruston, Kwasniewski's teammate at Scott Turner Motorsports, was 11th. It was the best finish by a female driver in a K&N Pro Series East race since Danica Patrick finished in sixth place at Dover International Speedway in 2010.
Kwasniewski recorded his sixth K&N Pro Series win in 29 career starts. His previous five K&N Pro Series wins came in the West. He has made four starts in the K&N Pro Series East.
"I go out there every weekend and I try to mess around with my team and have the time of my life when I'm out here," Kwasniewski said. "Even though I may miss the stuff back home, there's nothing better than going out and racing a race car, especially winning at Bristol. This track was so much fun. It's definitely one I can put a notch in my belt for."
The next K&N Pro Series East race is the Kevin Whitaker 125 at Greenville Pickens Speedway in South Carolina on March 23.
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