Off the Grid: Rookie Edition

June 23, 2014, Holly Cain,

Larson, Kwasniewski and Kennedy reveal interesting off-track facts about themselves

In this new feature, Holly Cain will interview drivers in each of the three national series to find out more about them and their life "Off the Grid" -- away from the race track. What are their other interests, most impactful life experiences? What makes them laugh? What do they value most in their friends and family? The questions will be different each week, but the answers are always revealing, varied and quite often, surprising.

Fittingly for this "first" edition, Cain caught up with three 2014 rookies: Sprint Cup Series' Kyle Larson (driver of the No. 42 Target Chevrolet), Nationwide Series' Dylan Kwasniewski (No. 31 ROCKstar Energy Drink Chevrolet) and Camping World Truck Series driver Ben Kennedy (No. 31 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet).

1. What hidden talent would fans be most surprised to find out you possess?

LARSON: "Hula hooping"

KWASNIEWSKI: "I used to take gymnastics so I'm really good at backflips, handstands and pretty cool acrobatics. … not the splits though."

KENNEDY: "I'm surprisingly good at math."

2. Which television competition reality show would you be most likely to win. .. "Dancing with the Stars," "The Voice" or "Chopped?"

LARSON: "None of those. 'Wipeout.'

KWASNIEWSKI: "Definitely not 'Dancing with the Stars,' I am no good at dancing. I'd say of those three options, I'm probably best at cooking, so 'Chopped.'"

KENNEDY: "Probably 'Dancing with the Stars.' I'm not a very good cook and I can't sing, so dancing would be what I'm least bad at. I've always wanted to be on "The Amazing Race." I think I'd be really good at getting around places and getting things done."

3. Which of your fellow competitors would be most likely to win the reality show "Survivor?"

LARSON: "Ryan Newman."

KWASNIEWSKI: "I think I could win that."

KENNEDY: "Brennan Newberry. He's always got Qore 24. I feel like you could survive forever with Qore 24." 

4. When it comes to vacations. .. do you prefer the beach or the mountains?

LARSON: "Mountains."

KWASNIEWSKI: "I'd say the beach. I like snowboarding too, so I like the mountains, but nothing beats the West Coast beaches."

KENNEDY: "I vacation in the mountains because I live by the beach." 

5. What is your favorite home-cooked meal that your mom makes?

LARSON: "Spaghetti."

KWASNIEWSKI: "My mom is most likely to win 'Chopped.' She's a really good cook and likes to go outside the box. I'd say either her baked chicken or this breakfast pizza she makes using hollandaise sauce.

KENNEDY: "I love classic steak and vegetables." 

6. What other sport besides racing are you best at?

LARSON: "Shuffleboard."

KWASNIEWSKI: "I'm pretty good at snowboarding and I play basketball. I also train in MMA."

KENNEDY: "Wakeboarding."

7. What is your last act of random kindness?

LARSON: "I was at a Charlotte Knights (Triple-A baseball) game recently and I gave a dollar to the kid in front of me who was a little short on cash for his cotton candy."

KWASNIEWSKI: "I try to do nice things any chance I get, so I don't really think about it. I don't know what the last thing was, I just try to do it regularly."

KENNEDY: "About a week ago we were boating out on the river and another guy's boat capsized, so we helped him out and towed his boat to shore.''

8. Which race car driver -- living or not -- would you most like an autograph from?

LARSON: "Probably Tony Stewart since he doesn't like to give autographs."

KWASNIEWSKI: "Definitely Dale Earnhardt would be pretty cool or if we're talking racing in general, Ayrton Senna."

KENNEDY: "I would love to have talked to Tim Richmond. … I bet he had some really good stories."

9. What was the last song you sang along to out loud?

LARSON: "Garth Brooks' 'Friends in Low Places.' "

KWASNIEWSKI: "I think I can freestyle pretty good, so I freestyle over songs all the time, not just rap. I'm always spotting some rhymes while driving around with my dog."

KENNEDY: "The Man' by Aloe Blacc."  

10. What is your all-time favorite Christmas movie?

LARSON: "A Christmas Story."

KWASNIEWSKI: "I never get sick of 'Elf'. It's got so many funny lines."

KENNEDY: "A Christmas Story. I always watch 24 hours of it on Christmas Eve."


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