NNS: Dylan Kwasniewski to swap rides for stand-alone races

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Turner Scott Motorsports has announced that Dylan Kwasniewski will move to the No. 42 Chevrolet for five NASCAR Nationwide Series stand-alone races.

The first of those events will come this weekend at Iowa Speedway. Sprint Cup rookie Kyle Larson will continue to drive TSM’s No. 42 Nationwide Series car in companion events while continuing his Cup duties with Chip Ganassi Racing.

“I’m really looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the No. 42 car this week and for the remaining four stand-alone races,” Kwasniewski said in a statement. “I’m confident in all the guys at Turner Scott Motorsports, so it’ll be a great learning experience.”

Officially, Kwasniewski will be in the No. 42 for Iowa, Road America, Iowa II (August), Mid-Ohio and Kentucky. Larson will be in the No. 42 for the NNS event at Chicagoland since that falls on a Sprint Cup off-weekend, while Kwasniewski will go back to the No. 31 for that event.

“With Dylan being a [Chip Ganassi Racing] development driver, it will be a great learning experience for him and an overall win-win situation for both organizations,” said team co-owner Harry Scott.

Kwasniewski has piloted the No. 31 machine this Nationwide season, but at Iowa, that car will be taken over by Chase Pistone. He finished 13th this past March in the Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway, and has one previous start in Nationwide (Martinsville 2006, finished 37th).

Driver plans for the No. 31 in the remaining stand-alone races are yet to be determined.

We’ll see if the ride swap results in better performance from Kwasniewski. Since finishing eighth at the season opener in Daytona, he has finished in the Top-10 since.

In that span, his best finish has been an 11th at Fontana and he’s crashed out of the last two races at Richmond and Talladega.

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
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A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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