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Gene Price makes no bones about his goals as a team owner.
“I want to be the guy that sets the bar,” Price said. “I want to be the guy everyone wants to beat.”
So far, mission accomplished. With Dylan Kwasniewski's NASCAR K&N Pro Series West championship this season, Gene Price Motorsports now has two consecutive series titles to its credit. With Kwasniewski and teammate Greg Pursley, the organization won seven of the 15 races on the 2012 schedule.
More than that, Price's teams finished one-two in the standings with the 17-year-old Kwasniewski edging Pursley for the championship by just eight points.
“It feels good, but it's a little bittersweet for me,” Price said. “I love both these guys, the 44-year-old (Pursley) and the 17-year-old (Kwasniewski). That last race (at Phoenix) was a tough race for me to get through. Believe it or not, it was a difficult position for me to be in.
“I felt as bad for Greg as I did happy for Dylan at the end. It was exciting, but I was really happy for Dylan.”
Over the last two seasons, Gene Price Motorsports has combined to win 15 of 29 K&N Pro Series West races.
“I'm not the guy that's going to show up to run 10th,” Price said. “That's not the way I am. I want to make sure if I have two cars at the track, both are going to be good enough to win. If I'm not winning, I'm not having fun. If I'm not having fun, I'm not going racing. I can always go find something else to do.”
Price won't be doing that anytime soon.
As Kwasniewski moves over to the K&N Pro Series East next season, Price already has the seat of the No. 03 Ford filled. Cameron Hayley, who was the highest-finishing rookie in the K&N Pro Series West standings this season, will drive for Price.
“We're coming back next year with the same attitude and better equipment,” said Price, who admits he's putting a new focus on being more competitive in the East-West combination races at Iowa Speedway, where his teams have yet to win. “At Gene Price Motorsports, if you're not working to get better, you're going to get left behind. We're looking to build better race cars, and thankfully, I've got the resources to do that.”