Self Bags West Finale, Kwasniewski Is Champ
AVONDALE, Ariz. – Dylan Kwasniewski made more history Saturday night.
The 17-year-old Las Vegas driver captured the 2012 championship in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West with a second-place finish in the Casino Arizona 50 at Phoenix Int’l Raceway on Saturday.
A year after becoming the youngest race winner and youngest pole winner in series history, he became the youngest champ.
Kwasniewski entered the event with a two-point lead over teammate and defending series champion Greg Pursley in one of the closest championship battles in the history of the series.
Michael Self shot into the lead at the drop of the green flag and paced the entire 50-lap race to score his third career win, all this season. Kwasniewski started fourth and moved up to second, while Pursley started 11th but could get no closer than sixth by the finish. Kwasniewski finished with a six-point margin over Pursley for the championship.
At 17 years 5 months 10 days, Kwasniewski eclipsed the previous record was held by Chuck Bown in 1976 at 22 years, 7 months, 11 days.
Cale Conley, who won the 21 Means 21 Pole Award presented by Coors Brewing Co., finished third Saturday night. Chase Elliott and Cameron Hayley were fourth and fifh, respectively. Completing the top 10 were Greg Pursley, David Mayhew, Bryan Ortiz, Brett Thompson and Ben Kennedy.
Austin Dyne finished 13th to secure the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award by one point over Hayley.
Kwasniewski will be crowned as part of the NASCAR Night of Champions Awards banquet, which will include ceremonies for the seven NASCAR touring series on Saturday, Dec. 8 at the Charlotte (N.C.) Convention Center in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.