Friday, May 25, 2012

News & Notes: K&N West 1st Visit To BIR

Kwasniewski Looks To Extend Lead
In Championship Standings

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West makes its inaugural visit to Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway this week as part of the Fourth Annual Street Car Showdown on Saturday, May 26.

The event on BIR’s 2.5-mile road course is the sixth event of a 15-race schedule and the second of four road course events for the series this year.

Sixteen-year-old Dylan Kwasniewski heads to Minnesota first in the championship standings – with a 15-point lead over his teammate, defending series champion Greg Pursley. While Kwasniewski looks to build on his point lead, Pursley aims to gain ground in hopes of capturing back-to-back titles.

"I'm really excited about the inaugural K&N West race at Brainerd,” said Kwasniewski. “I think the fact that it's new for all of us West drivers levels the field just that much more. I'm happy that Royal Purple stepped up to sponsor this race and I'm confident I can bring my No. 03 Ford home in the winner’s circle this time."

Kwasniewski, of Las Vegas, is the first driver to capture more than one win in the series this year. He scored a victory earlier this month at Stockton (Calif.) 99 Speedway and was credited with a win as the top finishing West driver in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East-West combination race at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa on Saturday.

Although he had a record setting season as a rookie last year, Kwasniewski did not have much success in road course events. His best finish in the three races was 25th. But with a fourth-place finish at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah last month, he appears to have turned things around this year.

"We did have a lot of bad luck on road courses last year and that's frustrating for me because I grew up racing karts on many different kinds of open wheel tracks,” Kwasniewski said. “I feel that I didn't have the opportunity to showcase my ability to race these kinds of tracks last year. Miller was definitely a boost to my confidence. I really enjoy racing road courses because you have to be on your game with all the turns, shifting and elevation changes all the time. I think finishing well in the road courses we have on the schedule is going to be important to winning the championship.”

Pursley, meanwhile, has the best road course stats among the series regulars. The driver of the No. 26 Gene Price Motorsports/Star Nursery Ford has three wins, all at Miller Motorsports Park, along with six top-five and seven top-10 finishes in 11 series road course starts.

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