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.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).