Self Takes Win In East-West Race At Iowa

NEWTON, Iowa – Michael Self continued his winning ways Friday night at Iowa Speedway.

The 22-year-old from Park City, Utah, pulled away from the NASCAR K&N Pro Series field en route to the win in the Casey’s General Store 150. It was Self’s second straight win, his fifth in his last 14 races, and he became the first NASCAR K&N Pro Series West driver to win the annual combination race with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.

“This is just unbelievable,” said Self. “To be the first K&N West driver to win this race here is just out of this world. I really can’t describe what was going through my head those last couple laps.”

Self also became the eighth different overall winner in eight NASCAR K&N Pro Series combination races at Iowa. He led twice for a race-high 83 laps, including the final 73.

1 Michael Self
2 Dylan Kwasniewski
3 Brett Moffitt
4 Greg Pursley
5 Ben Rhodes

A late caution pushed the scheduled 150-lap event to 159 laps. On each restart, however, Self was able to power away, leaving Dylan Kwasniewski and early race-leader Brett Moffitt to battle for second. Kwasniewski wound up claiming the runner-up spot over Moffitt. As the top finishing East driver, Kwasniewski was credited with a win in the series standings.

“It was such a good car,” said Self, “And such a big thanks to (crew chief) Steve Portenga and the Golden Gate Racing team for putting that car together.”

Greg Pursley was fourth and Ben Rhodes fifth.

“We just rallied back,” said Kwasniewski. “We were trying hard to beat Michael out there, but he was really good. … It was fun running with Brett. It was a great race.”

It was an eventful day for Kwasniewski, who skipped his high school graduation in Las Vegas to race Friday. He was presented his diploma by NASCAR K&N Pro Series East series director Kip Childress during driver introductions. Kwasniewski then recovered from a solo spin early in the event.

“That was my first time I had done that in, I don’t know how long,” said Kwasniewski, the defending West Series champion who is running full-time in the East this year.. “I got into the flat down there and ended up spinning the thing out.”

Moffitt, on the other hand, was left disappointed after he was in contention for the win all day. He led twice for 48 laps – the third time the Grimes, Iowa, native has led 45 or more laps the season. He has four top fives in six races but has yet to get to Victory Lane.

“I should feel really good about it, but we really start needing to get wins here,” said Moffitt. “It’s just really frustrating when we had a decent race car here the first half. We just got really tight and didn’t adjust enough. We need to get on our game there.”

Self, Kwasniewski, Moffitt and Rhodes were among a group of 13 up-and-coming drivers named to the NASCAR Next program, an industry initiative designed to spotlight the rising stars in the sport. Led by Self’s dominating performance, the group certainly didn’t disappoint Friday night.

NASCAR Next Roster For 2013 Announced

Cole Custer, Cale Conley, Cameron Hayley, Gray Gaulding and Matt Tifft rounded out the top 10.

Derek Thorn finished 18th overall and was able to maintain a six-point lead in the K&N Pro Series West over Self, Pursley and Hayley. All three have the same point total, with Self in second in the standings with two wins and Pursley third with one win.

In the K&N Pro Series East, Moffitt leads Kwasniewski by five points and Ben Kennedy by 17.

Earlier in the day, 15-year-old Anderson Bowen won the 21 Means 21 Pole Award presented by Coors Brewing Co. in his first career start. He wound up 14th overall.

Kwasniewski picked up a win as the top finishing West finisher (eighth overall) in the K&N Pro Series combination race at Iowa last spring, while Self was the top West driver (ninth overall) at Iowa last fall. Kwasniewski has switched series, and it was Self who was finally able to break through for the West.

“To come to Iowa Speedway and perform the this in front of these fans …” said Self. “The West win last year for us was big. To win overall, I couldn’t believe it. I haven’t been this excited over any win.”

The race had 11 cautions for 59 laps.

The Casey’s General Store 150 is scheduled to air on SPEED on Thursday, June 13, at 3 p.m. ET.

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will head down the highway and compete in the Toyota/G-Oil 150 at I-44 Speedway in Lebanon, Mo. on Sunday. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will next race Saturday, June 22 at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va.