Connor Okrzesik has been one of Super Late Model racing’s breakthrough drivers of the 2019 season. To this point, he has wins at CRA SpeedFest and with the Southern Super Series at Georgia’s Crisp Motorsports Park, beating out former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch and Super Late Model star Bubba Pollard in the process.
With momentum on his side, the Grand Bay, Alabama driver will shift gears over to his Pro Late Model for Friday night's race at Five Flags Speedway, where he currently sits at the top of the track’s point standings. With several second-place finishes already this season, he is looking to add additional tallies to the win column.
“We’re going to bring a lot of confidence to that race after winning this race at Cordele,” Okrzesik told Speed51.com. “We’ve finished second both races there this year, which gets aggravating. It seems like we can only finish second, we’ve finished second about six times this year. We’re really good at finishing second at this point, hopefully we can get a better finish than second and extend our points lead a little bit in the Allen Turner Series.”
Okrzesik owns the points lead in the Allen Turner Pro Late Model Series on the heels of second-place finishes in both races that have been contested thus far. Entering the third race of the season, he admits points were never on his radar coming into the season. Instead, the driver of car No. 14 is focused on chasing wins and letting the points situation work itself out.
“We really had points as an afterthought at this point,” he said. “If you win the race, you’re going to be leading points. We’re going after victories; points are just kind of the secondary thought. We want wins, that’s pretty much how we have it. We’re going to do the best we can, we definitely want a good points day but we also definitely want to win more.”
With three second-place finishes in Allen Turner Pro Late Model competition the last two years, Okrzesik’s only goal for Friday night is to win. He says he is willing to do about anything to get his first win at what he considers his home track.
“I’m not going to wreck anybody to win but I’m definitely going to be aggressive,” Okrzesik said. “It’s painful to finish second that many times, especially at my home track. I haven’t won at Five Flags since before Late Models. That’s the track I’m hungriest for a win at.”
As well as running the Allen Turner Series, Okrzesik is also competing in the Blizzard Series to prepare for December’s Snowball Derby. He was racing with two-time defending Blizzard Series champion Casey Roderick for the win in the opener before getting collected in an accident with Roderick and Jett Noland late, while finishing fifth in the previous two races. The finale for both Late Model classes will be on Saturday, September 21, where he will be looking for two checkered flags that night.
“We had good luck the first race until the last ten laps, we probably should have finished first or second in that but stuff happens,” he said. “We’ve been trying a couple things throughout the year and had mixed results, some have worked and some haven’t worked. I feel really good going into the finale, I think we’re going to have a really good shot at it. Hopefully we won’t need the provisional but it would be nice to have it going into the Derby. Hopefully we can get two wins that week, one in the Super Late Model and one in the Pro Late Model.”
But before he gets to September’s doubleheader, all focus will be on reaching victory lane Friday night during Round #3 for the Allen Turner Pro Late Model Series. Race fans unable to make it to Pensacola, Florida will be able to watch a live video stream on Speed51’s Summer Thunder TV presented by PFC Brakes.
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-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN/MI) - Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo credit: Speed51.com