One record in a day wasn’t enough for Dylan Kwasniewski, who won the Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150 from the pole Saturday in NASCAR K&N Pro Series West action at Colorado National Speedway.
Kwasniewski, a 16-year-old from Las Vegas, led 149 of the 152 laps in the No. 03 Rockstar/Royal Purple Ford at the .375-mile Colorado oval to become the youngest winner in the 57-year history of the K&N Pro Series West. He surpassed the mark previously held by Joey Logano, who won at Phoenix International Raceway on April 19, 2007 at age 16 years, 10 months.
Kwasniewski also became the youngest winner in the K&N Pro Series overall, surpassing the mark held by Darrell Wallace Jr. in the K&N Pro Series East at 16 years, five months. Kwasniewski is just over two months past his 16th birthday.
Earlier in the day Kwasniewski established the record for the youngest series pole winner when he surpassed the mark previously held by Spencer Clark.
Despite leading nearly the entire race, Kwasniewski was not without his challengers. Making his K&N Pro Series West debut, leading NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Alex Bowman ran with Kwasniewski the majority of the race. Bowman spun out Kwasniewski on Lap 145, however, and was penalized to the tail end for rough driving. Kwasniewski was able to blend back in line and regained the lead after Bowman was penalized.
On the restart, Kwasniewski pulled away as the race concluded with a green-white-checkered finish. He won by a margin of .669 seconds.
“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.”
Despite the pressure from Bowman, Kwasniewski was confident he had the car to beat.
“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,” he 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 expressed relief afterward over scoring his first win, which came in just his ninth career series start.
“I’m looking to win in every series and I’m glad I got my first one,” he said. “We’ve been close a couple of times. We’ve been fighting with my teammate, Greg (Pursley). I’m glad that I finally got a win.”
Pursley, who continues to hold a solid command in the championship standings, crossed the line in second for his ninth top-five finish in the season’s 10 events.
“It was a great race tonight,” Pursley said. “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.”
Pursley also expressed his gratitude to the Colorado fans.
“It’s great to come back to Colorado National Speedway,” he 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.”
Following Kwasniewski and Pursley across the line were Brett Thompson, Luis Martinez Jr. and Eric Holmes. Moses Smith, Chad Boat, Ben Kennedy, Bowman and Ryan Philpott rounded out the top 10.
The Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150 from CNS will air on SPEED on Thursday, Aug. 25 at 6 p.m. ET.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will return to action with the Toyota/TTC 150 at Montana Raceway Park in Kalispell, Mont., on Saturday, Aug. 13.
Pursley leads the championship standings by 253 points, with 1,720. Smith continues to hold the second spot with 1,467. Martinez is third with 1,404, followed by Holmes with 1,367 and Thompson with 1,340. Completing the top 10 are Michael Self at 1,332, Kwasniewski at 1,274, Daryl Harr at 1,219, Philpott at 1,169 and David Mayhew at 1,061.