The career of budding motor sports star Dylan Kwasniewski has continued to pick up momentum since the teenager was featured in Vegas Seven on March 3. Last month, NASCAR named the Las Vegan, who turned 16 on May 31, as one of its “Next 9,” a designation given to the leading young stars in the K&N Pro Series—the gateway to the NASCAR big time. Kwasniewski and the other drivers were invited to Charlotte, N.C., in late May to discuss their careers, sign autographs at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, take part in promotional interviews and race each other in go-karts.
“It puts a little bit of pressure on me, being in the Next 9,” Kwasniewski says. “But it’s nothing I need to worry about, because I always have higher expectations for myself than anybody else.”
He also competed in the K&N Pro Series West stock-car race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s Bullring on June 11, placing second in the 200-mile event. The career-best finish in the series improved his position atop the Rookie of the Year standings and put him 10th overall in points despite missing the year’s first race.
Kwasniewski, who will be a junior at Faith Lutheran High School this fall, won’t become eligible to move up to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series until he’s 18. Regardless, it’s been a fast-moving year for this phenom.