Win Earns Kwasniewski Historic East Title
BRASELTON, Ga. – Dylan Kwasniewski continued to make history with a dominating effort Friday in winning the Road Atlanta 115 and claiming the 2013 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship.
Kwasniewski, who became the youngest champion in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West last year, became the first driver to win both titles in both series.
The 18-year-old out of Las Vegas shook off a pair of hard luck finishes that had narrowed his lead to just five points over Brett Moffitt entering the final race of the season. He started from the pole position and dominated the series’ inaugural visit to the 2.54-mile road course by leading wire-to-wire for his sixth win of the season.
While Kwasniewski was out front, the championship suspense quickly ended as Moffitt had transmission problems that knocked him out of second-place on lap six and eventually out of the race. Moffitt finished 24th, giving Kwasniewski the title by 33 points.
“I entered this season with one goal and that was to win this championship,” said Kwasniewski. “To be able to accomplish it is very gratifying and I’m very grateful for everyone that helped make it possible. I really have to thank [crew chief] Marty Lindley and the rest of my Turner Scott Motorsports team. From our very first race out, we were successful. You never would have guessed this was a brand-new team. Through all the ups and downs of our season, I always knew I had the very best team. I also want to thank Rockstar Energy Drink and Royal Purple for having enough faith in me to make the jump from the West to the East. I’m very honored to bring them another championship.”
Daniel Suárez crossed the line in second for his sixth top-five finish of the campaign and Bryan Ortiz finished third. Canadian road-course ace worked his way up from a start in the 24th position to finish fourth followed by rookie Cole Custer in fifth.
Ben Kennedy, Scott Heckert, Brandon Gdovic, Dale Quarterley and Austin Dyne completed the top-10 finishers.
Kwasniewski, a member of the NASCAR Next program, also became the first driver since Mike Stefanik to notch championships in two different series in consecutive years. Stefanik won the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and K&N Pro Series East titles in both 1997 and 1998. NASCAR Next is an industry initiative that spotlights young, talented drivers within the NASCAR ranks.
The race lineup was set per the series rule book after rain washed out on-track activity on Thursday. Track conditions and schedule allowed the cars on the track for a practice session on Friday.