Connor Okrzesik is beginning to take a liking to Crisp Motorsports Park in Cordele, Georgia. Six months after beating NASCAR Cup Series star Kyle Busch to claim his first Super Late Model victory at the track, the Alabama young gun outdueled national star Bubba Pollard to win Saturday night’s Georgia Summer Nationals for the Southern Super Series. Okrzesik went from being a bridesmaid to standing in victory lane after an epic battle with Pollard that ultimately came down to a restart with less than 15 laps to go. “I’m wore out,” Okrzesik told Speed51. “Me and Bubba had an absolute great battle at the end of the race. We were both driving as hard as we could absolutely drive to get the win and I edged him out a little bit. It just came down the restart. I think I was a little bit better than him like five to ten laps into the run when I got around him the first time so I could actually choose my restart, and then I cleared him and just never looked back.” (Story by Allick Jorgensen / Speed51.com)
Photo Credit: Speed51.com
Photo Credit: Speed51.com
Connor Okrzesik and team came in to 2019 confident a victory was near. Coming off a 4th place finish at the prestigious Snowball Derby in Pensacola, Florida, momentum was on his side. A stacked entry list full of super late model regulars including Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion Kyle Busch was the highlight of the pre-race buzz. Southern Super Series regular Stephen Nasse led the field to the green flag for the 200 lap event. By lap 50, Okrzesik would be knocking on the door of the top three. Connor looked strong throughout the next quarter, making his way to second behind Harrison Burton, son of former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Jeff Burton.After the halfway break, Connor Okrzesik got pushed three wide on the restart, forcing him back to third. Within a few laps, Connor was back on the leaders bumper, soon taking the lead from Kyle Busch. Okrzesik put over two seconds on second place, but a caution flag with seven laps to go worried the young driver. Connor made a bold decision to choose the inside lane for the restart. Within six laps, Okrzesik had put nearly a whole second on Kyle Busch and crossed the finish line to win his first career super late model victory."I can't think of a better way to get my first career Super Late Model win than to beat Kyle Busch at one of the biggest super late model events in the country. Mike Garvey and the crew were awesome and they have been doing this for years and years. I took the inside line so that the 51 couldn't force me up the track if I hadn't cleared him off of two." - Connor Okrzesik (ConnorOkrzesik.com Press Release / Carbon Racing Solutions)
Connor Okzresik and the #14 Metro Glass Toyota Camry started the 51st Annual Snowball Derby from a career Snowball Derby best 5th starting position. A 300 lap affair, taking care of your car and tires is a must. After falling back outside the top 10 early in the first run of the race, Okzresik started making his way back through the field and into the top 10 by lap 30. The first caution of the day flew on lap 45 with a spin by Kaden Honeycutt. Very few teams decided to pit, mostly ill handling cars near the back. The race restarted on lap 55 with Connor restarting in 10th position on the outside line. The inside line checked up on the restart and there was a vicious crash in the middle of the pack, but the #14 car escaped clean. The race resumed on lap 65 with Jeff Choquette and Harrison Burton on the front row and Connor in P8. After a heck of a battle with Ty Majeski, Connor slid into the 7th position and eventually passed Majeski a few laps after. Kaden Honeycutt completed the hat trick by spinning out for the third time on lap 88. Teams were now in the window of pitting and taking their 1st set of fresh tires. The #14 crew had an unbelievable stop and came off pit road in 3rd. A red flag was put out by the officials as a hole formed in the racing surface. The race resumed and Connor would run quietly inside the top 10 for the remainder of the 300 laps. A late yellow set things about for a mad dash to the finish and Okzresik capped off an unbelievable run with a 4th place showing in the 51st Snowball Derby. (ConnorOkrzesik.com Press Release / Carbon Racing Solutions)
Photo Credit: Speed51.com
PHOTO CREDIT: Ginger Pierce / Shutterbugps
Mobile International Raceway held their Inaugural Mobile 300 super late model race on Sunday, October 28th. Many of the nations top teams showed up to go for the crown. The #14 crew had high hopes heading into the weekend at Mobile and they lived up to the expectations. After a great practice session, Connor put the #14 hot rod on the front row for the 300 lap event. Okzresik led laps during the middle portion of the race and after battling hard with Stephen Nasse and Bubba Pollard, the #14 machine would wind up finishing a proud 2nd after 300 laps. “It was a great weekend for the #14 team with our 2nd place finish in the Mobile 300. The breast cancer awareness Senneker super late model was very fast thanks to Mike Garvey. Thanks to Michael Beasley and all that helped on the pit crew. Thanks to Mobile International Speedway and the Lyon family for hosting the event." (ConnorOkrzesik.com Press Release / Carbon Racing Solutions)
Connor Okrzesik and crew arrived to the "Show Me The Money" Beat The Heat 100 Pro Late Model race at Montgomery Motor Speedway knowing they had a real shot at a PLM victory as Montgomery is a personal favorite of driver #14. Connor would qualify P3 with a time of 15.77, just behind pole sitter Giovanni Bromante and Bobby Knox Jr. Okrzesik would drop to 5th by lap 25 but the car really started to come to him soon after. By lap 35 he was back inside the top 3 behind Bromante and Roderick. There would be a close call between the #14 Chevy SS and some lapped traffic near the midway point of the race but all escaped cleanly. A couple restarts late in the race allowed Connor to grab 2nd place and possibly track down Roderick but it wasn't meant to be. After a somewhat rewarding yet disappointing 2nd place finish, the leaders headed to tech inspection and race winner Casey Roderick's machine ended up failing due to a weight issue. That meant that Connor Okzresik and the 14 gang would be declared race winners after passing inspection. Next on the list is a victory in the Southern Super Series. (ConnorOkrzesik.com Press Release / Carbon Racing Solutions)
Photo Credit: Speed51.com
Connor Okrzesik has been competing in the super late model division of the Southern Super Series for the past two years against the very best drivers in the country, including Bubba Pollard, Casey Roderick, and Ty Majeski. Okrzesik got his first super late model win in one of the biggest races of 2019, SpeedFest. He had his hands full, holding off 2015 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion Kyle Busch, after a late caution.
In 2018, Connor Okrzesik secured his first win in a pro late model at one of his favorite tracks: Montgomery Motor Speedway. The year also marked the inaugural start for the Mobile 300, a 300-lap event at his home track, Mobile International Speedway, located a short 10-minute drive from his home in Grand Bay, Alabama. In December, Connor captured a strong fourth place finish at the famed Snowball Derby, a race that brings NASCAR drivers and local competitors together for an exciting event.
In 2017, Connor Okrzesik won the Southern Super Series Rookie of the Year award and achieved many other milestones in his super late model career. He had the honor of competing in the first ever Short Track U.S. Nationals held at the famous Bristol Motor Speedway, a track that has been home to regular NASCAR competition dating back to the 1960’s. The year held many accomplishments, one of which was having the chance to out-qualify Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series veteran Kyle Busch in the famed Snowball Derby.
2016 was the year that launched Connor Okrzesik into the super late model scene. He started his first super late model race at a familiar track, Five Flags Speedway. In just his third start in the super late model, Okrzesik would race his way into the most prestigious super late model race in the country, the Snowball Derby. Connor is no stranger to challenge. After rebounding from an early electrical problem that caused him to go a lap down, Connor battled back to earn a strong thirteenth-place finish out of 35 cars.
Connor Okrzesik started and ended 2015 strong. He won track championships in two divisions that he competed in. They came at his family-owned track, Sunny South Raceway. He also had the privilege to add the sportsman and pro truck divisions to his racing resume, where he also won multiple races in his first season at both Five Flags Speedway, and Mobile International Speedway. He also made his first pro late model start the same year, finishing fourth against a stout field of veteran drivers at a track new to Connor, Watermelon Capital Speedway.
Connor Okrzesik’s racing career began at the young age of four, in cage karts. By the age of seven, he had moved up to national flat kart and champ kart racing. Later, he would win seven WKA Championships. Continuing off his success in go-karts, he advanced into the Bandolero series, winning 13 straight races in his first year. At the bright age of 12, he was granted provisional status to race in the Legends Young Lions division, as well as the Pro Challenge Series at his home track, Sunny South Raceway. Connor later won track championships in both divisions.