ACHIEVEMENTS: In 2012, at age 17, he became the youngest driver ever to win the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West championship. Then he won the East title in 2013, becoming the first driver in the history of K&N to capture championships in both the East and West series.
MAKING THE LEAP:This year Kwasniewski anticipates racing in either the NASCAR Nationwide or Camping World Truck Series. He recently moved from Las Vegas to Charlotte, North Carolina, to be closer to the center of stock-car racing. “It’s going to be a challenge,” he says, “but I think I can be successful. Hopefully I can be running with Kyle Busch and kicking his butt, too.”
MOTIVATION: “I’m 18 years old, and I’ve already had 13 years of racing experience under my belt—it’s a lot of hard work and a lot of sacrifice. So to see how much time, effort and money my family has put into this, that really pushes me. I obviously want to make it for myself and prove to myself that I’ve made it, but the big thing is the people around me who have sacrificed.”
REALITY TV: Kwasniewski was the subject of last year’s 10-episode AOL docu-series Flat Out, which chronicled his life balancing family, friends and career.
ONE LOSS HE’D LIKE TO FORGET: Kwasniewski failed the test the first time he tried to get his Nevada driver’s license. “That sucked. I was about to cry.”