Kodie Conner is a name that many race fans may not know just yet. Fans in the Southeast have probably seen Conner race and are familiar with his black and orange tiger-striped car, however. The teenager finished second in Pro All-Stars Series South points in 2016, and now he is looking for wins in 2017 beginning on February 4 at South Carolina’s Dillon Motor Speedway.
Conner, the 2015 Pro All-Stars Series (PASS) Pro Late Model champion, gained Rookie of the Year honors in 2016 as he moved to the PASS Super Late Model ranks. The North Carolina native lost the PASS South title to Matt Craig by 12 points while scoring one pole award and four top ten finishes last season.
“I cannot wait to be back in my office,” said Conner about the race at Dillon. “From a racers opinion, I believe it will be a competitive race with many experienced drivers. I enjoy close racing and I don't think that will be a problem at the Winter Meltdown. My goal is to get the win. Team Kodie Conner Racing has been working hard this off-season to win races this upcoming season. We want to win as many races, be able to race more, and get my name out to as many people I can.”
Conner, like any 15-year-old still has a budding education, one that he pursues via a program known as “Early College” that allows Conner to graduate high school and earn his associate’s degree at the same time.
“Early college is a program that will allow a student to graduate high school with an associate’s degree in college. Basically, having all high school classes and some college classes in ninth and 10th grade and in 11th and 12th grade will have more college classes than high school.”
Conner was given a clear confidence boost by winning PASS Rookie of the Year and almost winning the series title, a boost that Conner and his team carried over into the off season.
“Being able to compete in the Super Late Model division with some of the best drivers is exciting and a great learning experience. Throughout the season I was leading the points, then going into the last race and ending up finishing second in points my first season competing is a feeling like no other. It would have been even better winning the championship, but I look back and see how great of a season we had with the luck we had and winning the title of rookie of the year is incredible. In my opinion, Team KCR ended strong and we are going to begin 2017 stronger. We had to overcome obstacles in 2016 but experience helped me through them and I hope to learn more in 2017 along with many wins.”
The Pro All-Stars Series season kicks off in about two weeks with the running of the Winter Meltdown at Dillon Motor Speedway on Saturday, February 4.
-By Reese Nobles, Speed51.com Mid-Atlantic Correspondent – Twitter: @RNoblesSpeed51
-Photo Credit: Kodie Conner Racing Facebook