Chip Ganassi Racing signs Dylan Kwasniewski as development driver

Dylan Kwasniewski stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images

The youth movement is on at Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sebates.

The team announced Sunday they have signed 18-year-old Dylan Kwasniewski as the organization’s next development driver.

"We obviously think Dylan is a pretty unique talent," team owner Chip Ganassi said of his newest driver. "We’ve certainly been impressed by his statistics. You can see that he certainly has the pedigree we look for as a team. Some people say he’s a marketer’s dream, so that’s always a good thing in this sport. I’ll let other people in the organization worry about those things. I’m just looking for somebody that can wheel one of these things."

Kwasniewski is currently competing for the Rookie of the Year title in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with Turner Scott Motorsports, and made history as the only driver to win championships in both the K&N Pro Series East and West Series.

Making the announcement in his hometown of Las Vegas, Kwasniewski described the announcement as a "dream come true."

"I’m so thankful for the opportunity I’m given today," he said. "Hopefully we’ll be able to perform well, and I can show the entire organization that I’m here to make it in the sport."

Two years after signing Kyle Larson to their development program, the Ganassi organization leaned on him for feedback on signing Kwasniewski.

The two young drivers already work together at Turner Scott Motorsports in the Nationwide Series, something that Kwasniewski relies on heavily.

"It’s great having Kyle there," Kwasniewski said. "He went through the same exact thing, jumping from the K&N Series to the Nationwide. Obviously, he had great success in that. I really rely on him a lot and get his insight and talk to him about what he’s doing on the track, because he’s obviously a wheel-man."

With only three Nationwide Series starts under his belt, Kwasniewski knows some may question his meteoric rise up the ranks, but he’s ready to prove himself.

"Some people may think I’m jumping up too fast, but we have to take it one step at a time," he said.

With the addition of Kwasniewski, Ganassi indicated this announcement was in no way tied to the team’s other Sprint Cup Series driver Jamie McMurray and comes with his "full blessing."

"This is by no means connected to Jamie or meant to put pressure on him at all. I think (Dylan) is a minimum two years away (from Sprint Cup), maybe three. So you never know. Down the road we’ll have that conversation."

Photos: Hot times in Sin City

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