Performing in the clutch separates the best drivers from the pack. When the laps are counting down and the lights are shining brightest, the top racers thrive under pressure. Each month during the 2020 season, Tilton Engineering will honor a “Clutch Performer of the Month” from the world of short track racing.
The winner of the Tilton Engineering Clutch Performer of the Month Award for the month of October is…
Super/Pro Late Models
With a flash of the yellow flag, a comfy drive to the checkered flag became a two lap door-to-door duel for the win of the final Allen Turner Pro Late Model Series on October 25 at Five Flags Speedway. In the end, Connor Okrzesik came out on top of a crash-bang photo finish over Late Model newcomer Jake Finch.
After Okrzesik’s lead was wiped out with two laps to go for a late race crash, the Alabama driver not only had to deal with the hard charging Finch on his outside, but the always eager Stephen Nasse directly behind him for the restart. Okrzesik held Finch at bay for the green flag lap and managed to separate slightly from Nasse, but that all changed on the white flag lap.
With Finch’s No. 81 delivering a bump to the rear of Okrzesik’s No. 14 coming off Turn 2, it gave Finch the opportunity to go to the outside and pull even for the lead on the backstretch. Staying even through Turn 3 with Finch trying to keep Okrzesik pinned down, Okrzesik’s car became tail happy in Turn 4. From there, the two traded blows all the way to the checkered flag.
Crossing the line nearly even, Okrzesik finally lost control, sliding across the track, and getting hit in the side by Finch after the finish. After an exhaustive review of the finish, track officials ultimately confirmed it was Okrzesik who had won by just the nose of his racecar, in what is sure to be a top candidate for Finish of the Year.
For his hard and gutsy drive for the final two laps, in one of the most intense racing battles in recent memory, Connor Okrzesik has been named the Tilton Clutch Performer of the Month for October. Okrzesik will receive a $250 product certificate from Tilton Engineering for his clutch performance.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51