(Stafford Springs, CT)—For Devin O’Connell and the #43 Chatham Highlander Motel team, the 2015 Legend Cars season at Stafford Motor Speedway has been a year that dreams are made of. They have won 8 feature races this year and they sit on the verge of becoming a track champion at Stafford. O’Connell heads into this Friday night’s feature event with a 118 point lead over Teddy Hodgdon and should that margin be 100 or more points after the race is over, O’Connell will be the first driver in 2015 to clinch a track championship at Stafford.
“I’ve been trying to not worry about it,” said O’Connell. “I want to focus on winning races and see if we can break the double digit win barrier. Not a lot of people have been able to do that so if we could accomplish that, it would be pretty cool. Our plan is to show up, make sure the car is 100%, and get ourselves in position to win a couple of more races.”
From what the 2015 season has turned out to be for O’Connell and the #43 team, they got off a solid start with three podium finishes in the first four races to place themselves firmly into championship contention. It was a 6-race stretch from May 22 through June 26 that saw O’Connell win 5 times and finish second in his other start that vaulted him into the points lead, which he hasn’t relinquished since.
“We knew were going to have a good year but we never imagined we would have this good of a year,” said O’Connell. “It’s definitely caught us by surprise.”
O’Connell will have three more races in which to get 2 wins to reach his goal of 10 wins in a season. Despite the fact that he has 8 wins already, O’Connell says getting those final 2 wins is going to be tough.
“It’s not getting any easier each week,” said O’Connell. “Teddy [Hodgdon] and Mikey [Flynn] have been right there and if you’re off just a little bit, last week we finished fourth due to a loose nut. We have to make sure the car is 100% because those guys are not easy to beat.”
O’Connell traces his racing roots at Stafford back to the Wild Thing Karts, which he started in at age 9. Although he wasn’t able to win a championship in the kart ranks, a Legend Cars championship at Stafford will hold a special place in O’Connell’s heart.
“I wasn’t able to win a championship in 5 years in karts at Stafford, so to do that in a Legend Car, it would definitely check something off of my bucket list, that’s for sure,” said O’Connell. “I think we missed the championship by something like 6 points one season in the karts. We’ve won a couple of championships at other tracks in the karts and to do it at Stafford would be pretty awesome. I couldn’t do this without my Dad, 860 Motorsports built me a great car, and Chatham Highlander Motel has been on board with me since my karting days. I even still have an old wing from karts with Chatham Highlander Motel on it.”
To see if Devin O’Connell can clinch the Stafford Speedway Legend Cars track championship, join us this Friday night, September 11th for First Responders Appreciation Night. All first responders can get a $10 Adult G.A. ticket when they show the proper I.D. at the admission gate. Regular tickets are priced at $17.50 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seat tickets are $20.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Stafford Motor Speedway offers plenty of free parking along with overnight parking for self contained Recreational Vehicles. Joining the Legend Cars in feature action will be the DARE Stock, Limited Late Model, SK Light, Late Model and SK Modified® NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.