Fresh off of his 17th birthday earlier this week, Connor Okrzesik is ready to crank up his racing schedule to the red line beginning this weekend with the inaugural Mobile 300, the season finale for the Southern Super Series presented by Sunoco. While most drivers get excited at the prospect of a long-distance event, Okrzesik is thrilled to have such a high-caliber event on home soil.
Living just minutes from Mobile International Speedway in Grand Bay, Alabama, Okrzesik has more than just home track knowledge on his side; he also has had a great year of growth in 2018. This combination his taken him from dark horse contender to a serious favorite throughout the Deep South region.
“We’re very excited for this weekend, we think we have a really good shot at winning the race in our backyard,” Okrzesik told Speed51.com. “At this point I think we have a shot to win every race now; we’ve been getting better with every single race, and I think it’s only a matter of time now.”
It should come as no surprise that Mobile has become his best track. Despite being so young, Okrzesik has knowledge of MIS that not even some veteran drivers possess.
“That track has been really good to me over the years,” Okrzesik stated. “It’s where I first drove my first full-size race car at, and that’s where I mostly drove for my first season of racing full-size cars. Having it be our home track makes it even better.”
On the flip side, Okrzesik has not run the distance of 300 laps in a race at Mobile. In fact, he’s only raced 300-plus laps twice in his career. Both of those races took place 90 minutes away at Five Flags Speedway in the Snowball Derby.
“It’s going to be really neat, but it’s going to be different. Most of the time it’s only 100-lap races at Mobile, but a 300-lap race is going to be a challenge. But it should be entertaining at the very least.”
Most of his laps at Mobile have also come outside of a Super Late Model, a stat that Okrzesik is looking to change on Sunday.
“We’ve only raced a couple of times there in the Super Late Model, so it’s going to be great to get a big amount of laps there in the Super. Plus, you got the best of the best there and those are the guys you want to beat if you want to be the best. It’s going to be great having all those guys from all over the country.”
But the Mobile 300 is just one part of a demanding fall schedule that he and his team have assembled to better adapt him for those long-distance races before the Snowball Derby.
“This is going to be a great chance for us to get the car dialed in for a long run before the Derby,” Okrzesik said. “It’s also going to get me dialed in for long distance racing as a driver. We’ll also be going to the All-American 400 at Nashville and we may be running the Governor’s Cup at New Smyrna, which would make it even busier for us. A lot of racing in the next couple of weeks, but we’re ready for it.”
Race fans all across the globe unable to make the trip to Mobile, Alabama this Sunday can see the Mobile 300 live on Speed51.com’s pay-per-view broadcast. Live video tickets can be purchased today by clicking here.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51.com