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Having the Bullring nearby is what prompted the family to first give NASCAR a look. In 2007, Kwasniewski stopped racing go-karts throughout the West to focus on performing well on the three-eighths-mile oval at LVMS.
"He really took to circle-track racing, and I don't know that everybody does that," Jennifer Kwasniewski said. "It's a different mentality than racing on a road course like he did in karts."
Kwasniewski said the constant action in stock cars separates it.
"You're constantly racing somebody," he said. "You never get a break. In open wheel, you get by yourself ... and do the same thing you were doing before. You're not pressured every single lap. I like that you always have to be on your toes and you always have to adapt to different situations."
As Kwasniewski's motor sports career was blossoming, however, tragedy struck the family. Randy Kwasniewski fatally shot himself March 9, 2010. He was 56.
The family has sued the maker of the sleeping pill Ambien, alleging Randy Kwasniewski died "as a result of the side effects" of the drug, which the family said he took the previous night.
Kwasniewski channeled his grief into racing.
"It gave him something to look forward to," Jennifer Kwasniewski said. "It was something he started with his dad and something he really wanted to carry on in memory of his dad.
"As a young teenage boy, he could've gone any direction. He could've gone down the wrong path after what happened, and he didn't. The racing community really pulled together to support us as a family and him as a driver. That's really what brought us through."
Kwasniewski is like many teenagers, playful and full of possibilities. He and team owner Gene Price traded good-natured jabs at a meet-and-greet event Friday, and Kwasniewski even poured water down his boss' back.
But there also is a seriousness to Kwasniewski, who provides thoughtful, cliche-free answers in interviews, making him sound like a seasoned veteran rather than a kid chasing his loftiest dreams.
That maturity probably runs in the family. Older sister Taylor is considering transferring from UNLV to Ivy League school Cornell.
Teammate Greg Pursley, who won the K&N West series last season and the race in Las Vegas, has become a sort of father figure, teaching Kwasniewski about how to handle different tracks, the importance of being patient and anything else that will help win races.
"I like helping him out due to the fact I'd like to see him make it," Pursley said. "I think he has the talent to go far and get up in the big leagues."
Maybe Kwasniewski will follow Kurt and Kyle Busch and experience success similar to what they have achieved at NASCAR's various levels.
The brothers also honed their skills at the Bullring before moving on to succeed at such places as Daytona and Talladega and Darlington.
"I think (Kwasniewski) understands you can't just jump into the big leagues in this sport," LVMS president Chris Powell said. "You've got to be willing to pay your dues in the grass roots, and he's done that."
Kwasniewski spends some of his time trying to establish contacts in NASCAR, and he met renowned team owner Rick Hendrick two years ago.
Landing with the right team is crucial, because an underfunded operation almost certainly will derail the hopes of even the most talented drivers. But wind up on a competitive team, such as Hendrick's or Joe Gibbs', and Kwasniewski will be able to showcase his ability.
The Busch brothers proved kids from Las Vegas can succeed at the sport's highest level.
Another Monster post from you Mojo….so you get one back too :):) You really made me scratch my head & think about why you would post “this” article to me…LOL. But I am sure MARK is very FLATTERED that you put it out here. However, I really do need to learn more about Dylan Kwasniewski since you swear he will be a racing legend in NASCAR. Very sad story to hear of his Father. Should be interesting to see how the lawsuit plays out with Pfizer & Ambien. I, myself, will no longer take that medication even after Doctors swore it to be safe. I know for a fact that I have driven while on it & have NO memory of it at all!!! Too many people have had way too many adverse affects on that drug. Either way, it surely has been a terrible loss for Dylan. Sad story for him not to see his son advance in racing. Next year when Dylan turns 18 it will be interesting to see who he races for. Mark sure does make a lot of references to the Busch Brothers (Vegas of course) but it would not be that much a reach for Dylan to go to Nationwide with them. The more I read about him the more I realize how talented he is.
As for the horse stuff we were talking about with Seattle Slew (bought for 17K & 300 million stud fees) & I’ll Have Another (bought for 35K in 2011). Just doing basic annualized rate average of inflation at a basic 4% would still be a bargain for Seattle Slew today at about 67K but flipping I’ll Have Another back to 1976 would have been around 9K. “IHA” is turning into MAJOR excitement news for everyone….it has been 34 years since we have had a Triple Crown Winner. I am not even a big horse racing fan & I am getting caught up in all of the excitement of it!!! Benny seems to be our MB Horse Racing Expert out here & would know more about it than I do. But did you know that in the 137 years of the Triple Crown, only 11 horses have captured the title? Being the NERD that I am…LOL…here they are: Sir Barton (1919), Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), War Admiral (1937), Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assualt (1946), Citation (1948), Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977) & Affirmed (1978)…..All I can say is I will be watching it (Lone Star Park) .“IHA” what a pay off if he does it…numbers coming in on fees right now are through the roof. If he takes it all…1 can only imagine!!! It has been too long since our last triple crown winner & I think it is high time to “Have Another” Winner!!!
I have a con't too Mojo ....LOL
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