CORONA, Calif. — official release — Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America photo – Dylan Kwasniewski said early last year that of all the racing series he has competed in his favorite was the Lucas Oil Modifieds presented by LoanMart.
When he said it Kwasniewski had just won the first series’ race of 2013 at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and in that situation saying nice things is expected.
It wasn’t just idle talk for Kwasniewski, however. That’s why the 19-year-old Las Vegas resident is using a rare weekend off from the NASCAR Nationwide Series to race with the Lucas Oil Modified regulars in the Best in the West 75 presented by Hoosier Tire West Saturday night (October 18) at Havasu 95 Speedway in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
Kwasniewski will be driving the 9X car for Chris Bray’s Phil’s Phabrication team as a substitute for Jason Irwin while Irwin competes in the Legends Car Nationals at Las Vegas.
Saturday’s race on the picturesque quarter-mile oval will be Kwasniewski’s first with the series since May 11, 2013, when he won at Las Vegas. He has made a total of 15 starts, seven of those when he finished seventh in the Hoosier Tire West point standings as a rookie in 2010, and also counts a win at Havasu 95 Speedway March 26, 2011, among his 10 top 5 finishes.
Kwasniewski is the only driver in NASCAR history to win the K&N Pro Series West and East championships, in 2012 and 2013, respectively, and this season the Turner Scott Motorsports team driver is 11th in the point standings in his rookie season in the Nationwide Series.
“Dylan is an incredibly talented young driver. He’s an asset to any series and we’re delighted to have him back with us this weekend,” Lucas Oil Modified Series promoter Greg Scheidecker said.
Kwasniewski’s presence in the 24-car starting field is a bonus for a race that already promised to be one of the most interesting of the season, with 18-year-old points leader Dylan Cappello bidding for a third straight win and a dozen or so drivers trying to capitalize on an unexpected opportunity to gain several positions in the point standings.