Ganassi Signs Dylan Kwasniewski to Development Deal
By Kelly Crandall – Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced Sunday morning that 18-year-old Dylan Kwasniewski has been signed as their newest development driver.
Following in the footsteps of Kyle Larson who is a rookie in the Sprint Cup Series for CGRFS but graduated from the Nationwide Series after one full season. Kwasniewski currently competes in the NNS for Turner Scott Motorsports in the No. 31 Rockstar Energy Chevrolet but is a teammate to Larson, who is running the majority of the NNS schedule this season. This is Kwasniewski’s rookie season.
“This young man has impressed us from the moment we saw him. His poise, skill and determination on the race track are remarkable for someone so young,” Ganassi said, as the announcement was made in Kwasniewski’s hometown of Las Vegas. “I am really looking forward to seeing him grow as a driver with each increase of competition. I think Dylan has a big future ahead of him in NASCAR.”
Ganassi currently runs two full NSCS teams with Larson and Jamie McMurray. But he made it clear on Sunday that Kwasniewski is not set to come to Cup yet and that McMurray’s job is secure. Yet he did acknowledge that depending on well things play out with Kwasniewski, the team could expand to three full-time teams in the future.
“This is by no means connected to Jamie or to put any pressure on him at all. I think (Dylan) is minimum two years away, maybe three so you never know,” Ganassi said. “Down the road we’ll have that conversation. I can assure you this is with Jamie’s full blessing and he’s happy to have him apart of the team.”
Kwasniewski won back-to-back championships in the NASCAR K&N Series’. First the West championship in 2012 and the East championship last season, becoming the first driver to win both. He also became the youngest NKNPSW champion at 17 years old in 2012.
At Daytona to open the NNS season, Kwasniewski became the youngest driver to win a pole. It was the first time that Kwasniewski had sat behind the wheel of a NNS car.
“We have a good report with Turner Scott and Kyle is over there also on Saturday’s. We have a good working relationship and this is probably going to make that relationship stronger,” Ganassi said about signing Kwasniewski while he drives for TSM.
“We’re starting to dabble technically a little with them to try and bolster them a little bit but they seem to be pretty stout. I consider them the number one Nationwide only team, they’re up racing against Cup teams. They’re always first in class so that’s pretty good I think.”
In his Las Vegas debut in the NNS on Saturday afternoon Kwasniewski finished 24th. He’s currently eighth in points heading into Bristol next weekend.
“I am extremely happy right now and thrilled to be getting this opportunity with Chip and the whole team. I have wanted to do nothing but race for as long as I can remember so this is a dream come true,” Kwasniewski said. “I look forward to being part of Chip’s organization and will hopefully be a key contributor to its future success.”
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