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Kwasniewski holds off Ortiz for VIR win

ALTON Dylan Kwasniewski knew he was going to have a fight on his hands when the caution flag waved with five laps to go in Saturday's Biscuitville 125 here at VIRginia International Raceway.

He quickly made it no contest.

 

With Bryan Ortiz and Brett Moffitt fighting for second place, Kwasniewski got a good jump on the final restart that kicked off a two-lap green-flag dash to the finish and won Saturday's race, the first ever NASCAR-sanctioned race at the legendary road course.

The victory was the fourth of the season for Kwasniewski, the series points leader, and his ninth career NASCAR K&N Pro Series win. It was the first career road-course win for the 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion.

"We've been trying so hard to get a road course win," Kwasniewski said.

"I knew we could do it, but we just needed everything to go according to plan and go our way and that's what happened."

Ortiz finished second, .847-second behind Kwasniewski, with Moffitt finishing third. Ben Kennedy finished fourth and Gray Gaulding rounded out the top five finishers.

Former NASCAR Whelen All American Series National Champion and South Boston Speedway Champion Peyton Sellers of Danville finished seventh after starting last in the 26-car starting field.

Kwasniewski, who started the race from the pole, dominated the race, leading twice for a total of 39 laps of the scheduled 55-lap race that was extended to 57 laps as the result of a caution that came out on lap 51 after the engine in the car driven by Daniel Suarez blew up on the front straightaway.

Suarez had been Kwasniewski's biggest challenger for much of the day, and had led 17 laps after taking the lead from Kwasniewski on lap11. Kwniewski said that when Suarez came up on him quickly and started pressing him, he opted to let Suarez go.

"When he came up on us, I got on the radio with my crew chief and we designed a pace that was good enough for us, " Kwasniewski explained.

"We picked a (lap) time and I tried to get as close as I could to that time every lap. If somebody wanted to go overboard and go faster than that,they could go right on and burn their stuff up. That's what we let Suarez do. He burned his tires up a little bit too much and we just let him come back to us."

Even after Kwasniewski got the lead back for what would be the final time on lap 29, it was Suarez that pressured Kwasniewski, Unfortunately for Suarez, his bid ended when his engine expired five laps from the scheduled end of the race.

"I think we had one of the best cars out there," Suarez said.

"The car was running really good and then blew up. I don't know. It's the second engine of the week. I think we had a shot for the win and some bad luck kept us out."

The blown engine in Suarez's car set up a two-lap green-flag dash to the finish, a dash that Kwasniewski won as Ortiz and Moffitt swapped second place twice during the late-race battle.

Ortiz said the late caution gave him a chance at the win.

"I was catching the 98 (Kwasniewski) but I didn't have time to do it," Ortiz remarked.

"After Brett passed me on the final lap I just tried to fight with him and try to pass him. As soon as I cleared him I tried to catch the 98. I know that last lap I was a half a second faster. If it was one more lap - maybe."

Kwasnziewski averaged 66.981 mph in the race that took one hour, 54 minutes and 53 seconds to complete. Three caution periods slowed the race for 13 laps.    

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