Proving that you don’t have to finish first to be a winner Dylan Kwasniewski, age 16 of Las Vegas, picked up a victory in last Saturday’s Graham Tire “150” NASCAR K&N Pro Series East & K&N Pro Series West combination race at Iowa Speedway.
Well, sort of anyway,.
Kwasniewski actually finished eighth overall, but was credited with the fourth win of his career as being the highest placing finisher out of the K&N Pro Series West drivers. Another young gun, 16-year-old Chase Elliott of Dawsonville, Ga., led the 36-car field to the checkered flag to earn the first win of his career.
“Eighth is typically not the best finish, but a good points day and I’m still in the lead now,” said Kwasniewski who also won at Stockton 99 three weeks ago. “It was a fun race, I had a blast, and we came home with all the fenders on it.”
It was not a good night for Escalon’s Eric Holmes, who is seeking his fourth championship in the series.
Starting the race from the 10th row, Holmes began to march towards the front of the field until his No. 20 NAPA Toyota had a right front tire go flat on lap 35, causing him to veer into the wall coming out of turn two. The car had to go to the garage for repairs, eventually returning to the race for a disappointing 33rd place result.
“I knew something was not right when we took the green to restart the race after a caution,” said Holmes. “The NAPA team did an awesome job getting us back out there and we were able to better our finishing position into ninth of the West Series teams. It was a team effort to be sure.”
Despite his rough weekend, Holmes remains in the thick of the 2012 championship race. He now sits in fifth overall (195 points), but only trails Kwasniewski for the lead by just 24 points.
The K&N Pro Series West series will return to action this Saturday, May 26 on the 2.5-mile, 13-turn road course at Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway before heading to the 3/8ths-mile Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway the following weekend.
The Graham Tire “150” is a 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series Combination race will be televised on SPEED Channel on Thursday May 31st at noon.
SPEARS Southwest Tour
Last weekend the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series raced at the Bullring and it was not a lucky place for the local entrants as well.
Derek Thorn, of Lakeport, started from the 11th position after setting fast time in qualifying at 14.475 seconds, drew an eleven invert for the 27-car field and promptly charged to the front, grabbing the lead from Prunedale’s Jim Pettit II on lap 30. He never looked back as he cruised to the checkered flag 5 seconds ahead of Jonathon Gomez and Pettit.
A trio of Manteca drivers failed to crack the top 10 as Ross Strmiska finished 15th, Michael Sandoval 16th and Jacob Gomes dropped out after only 22 laps to place 27th.
MK Kanke, of Frazier Park, now sits atop the SRL season standings with 495 points while Thorn moves up to second with 488.
The next race for the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series is the “Strandwold Properties 125 presented by Wrapped Graphix” on June 9 at Stockton 99 Speedway.
Ladera Ranch’s Cole Custer took off after the green flag and cruised to a win in the 100-lap Late Model feature of the Coors Light Late Model Open series on Holiday Inn Express Night last Saturday to become the youngest driver ever to win a main in that class at the Madera Speedway.
“It’s just a dream to be able to race a car as fast as these are,” said Custer, age 14. “Without my sponsors or my parents, I wouldn’t be able to do any of that, they are all the people that help us.”
Custer, who’s been racing since he was five years old, made the jump from racing quarter Midgets and focus Midgets last year to the Late Model class this season.
The Madera Speedway returns to action on Saturday, May 26 as the local classes will compete featuring the Lunker Daddy Late Models, Toyota Sedans, Hobby Stocks, MSTs, Sports Mods and 4-Bangers.
Stockton 99 will celebrate the Memorial Day weekend this Saturday night with round #1 of the Tri-Holiday Classic Series Presented by Financial Center Credit Union, with a 100-Lap Western Late Model Main Event. Also on the bill will be the Modifieds, Super Stocks, Bombers and Basically-4-Cylinders, combining for over 300 laps of main event racing action.
The Chowchilla Speedway will also be racing on Saturday with a huge program that includes the Modifieds, Sport Mods Wingless, American Stocks, 4-Bangers, Dwarf Cars, Super Stocks and Late Models.
And of course it doesn’t get any better on the tube this Sunday with the Formula One GP of Monaco, NASCAR Sprint Cup Coca Cola 600 and 96th Indy 500 all taking place.
Although last weekend’s qualifying for the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” lacked the normal “bumping” drama with all 33 entrants making the field, Sunday’s race could be one of the most competitive ever. Not only are the top 25 qualifiers within 3 mph of Team Penske’s Ryan Briscoe’s pole sitting 226.484 mph pace, but the record temperatures expected on race day will have crews scrambling for the right set up.
Although the Chevrolet powered teams dominated qualifying (and the season) we are picking Dario Franchitti (Team Target Ganassi/Honda) to take his third 500 victory at the fabled brickyard.