Category Archives: Latest News

O’Connell Involved in Mutli-Car Crash at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Short Track Showdown

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July 1, 2017 – There was much anticipation and media hype leading up to the inaugural Short Track Showdown at NHMS.  Following a successful test session back in May, Devin arrived at the track with a new marketing partner, Tick Mike’s Tick and Mosquito Hose Spray, and a tank full of optimism.   The team struggled in early practice and qualifying with a tight car.  A change just before the feature, with help from veteran driver Eddie MacDonald, proved to fix the problem.  Devin began the race in twelfth, and quickly moved up to ninth by the third lap.  Unfortunate, a blown motor from a car up ahead resulted in a multi-car crash that ended the day for the O’Connell racing team on lap four.  The qualifying heat race was broadcast LIVE on Facebook with the help of  the in-car TVU Network transmitter.

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O’Connell Earns First Top 5 in Granite State Pro Stock Series at Seekonk

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June 24, 2017 – Seekonk (MA) proved to be a fantastic night for the Devin O’Connell Racing team. The night began with a 3rd place finish in the second heat race, placing Devin P8 for the feature race. Devin ran a strong feature working up to as high as P4 with a 5th place finish, which was the highest finish of a GSPSS regular. All the action was broadcast live on Speed51 Summer Thunder TV Series and on Facebook from Devin’s cockpit thanks to TVU Networks.

Facebook Live Captures Wreck Of Race Car Driver Devin O’Connell

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Anytime, anywhere and under any circumstance, including rates of speed surpassing 185 miles per hour.

That’s the mantra of TVU Networks, which powers high-quality video transmission, towards professional race car driver Devin O’Connell and his Facebook LIVE video stream that kicked off Friday night at Claremont Speedway in New Hampshire.

“This is the most insane thing I think I’ve ever done, and I’ve done some pretty insane stuff,” said O’Connell in the car garage as he tested out the transmitter prior to the race.

O’Connell, who races in the Granite State Pro Stock Series, streamed the 100-lap race on the social platform via a TVU One transmitter situated in the race car cockpit.

Around the 41:40-minute mark in the stream, the 19-year-old ran into some trouble and sustained a minor wreck, which can be seen through the cockpit camera.

Following an inside pass of No. 72 Scott MacMichael, O’Connell sped up and appeared to have another inside pass on the No. 28 car Mark Lunblad. However, O’Connell clipped Lunblad’s side as the latter drifted into O’Connell’s lane.

O’Connell’s car came to a screeching halt as listeners heard a brief muffled conversation and an agitated O’Connell. After sitting idle for about 30 seconds and now with a busted up front hood, he restarted his car and headed off the track to have his car inspected.

“Rip the whole front end off. The steering is still fine,” he can be heard saying to his team.

A few “calm down” mentions are said, presumably at O’Connell but there wasn’t a way to see the exchange.

After three minutes of being off the track, he finally joined his fellow drivers, eventually finishing in the No. 15 spot by race’s end.

As a current sponsor of O’Connell’s for the 2017 season, TVU Networks will continue to aid him in broadcasting races on Facebook Live for the remainder of the campaign.

“We’re truly impressed with Devin’s accomplishments in the sport of racing at such a young age,” Paul Shen, Chief Executive Officer of TVU Networks said in a statement.

“We are happy to support Devin’s efforts to give racing fans the opportunity to see what racing is like from his vantage point — whether they’re tuning into his Facebook Live from the stands at the race or from their living room couch across the country.”

Said O’Connell in a statement: “I’m super excited to bring this technology into short track racing. I believe it will showcase racing in a positive way and bring new fans into the sport.”

O’Connell and TVU Networks Debut In-Car Facebook Live at Claremont Speedway (NH)

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Devin O’Connell debuted the much anticipated in-car Facebook Live with TVU Networks on Friday, June 2nd at Claremont Speedway (NH) in the Granite State Pro Stock Series. Starting the night sixth of seven in the third qualifying heat race, Devin raced his way to third, placing him 9th of 22 for the 100 lap feature race.

By lap 12 of the feature, Devin moved up to 6th, before getting hit in the left rear quarter panel. The resultant damage forced a pit stop for repairs. Devin drove back up to 9th by the mid way point of the race.  On lap 52, while making a pass for 8th, the car he was passing drove across the nose of his Chevrolet resulting in more damage and another trip to the pits for repairs. Devin returned to the race, but was forced to retire on lap 85 due to radiator damage and overheating. He finished the night 15th.

Live Stream Insiders Commentary on the TVU Network Facebook Live Video (27:00 into the video)

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Devin O’Connell Invited to Speak at Connecticut Special Education Event

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SPECIAL EDUCATION DAY AT THE STATE CAPITAL– celebrates the achievements of special education students. Opening remarks by Senator Ted Kennedy Jr., also ACT Rookie of the Year racecar driver Devin O’Connell announces “Champion Challenge” competition, plus Unified arts and sports for all to enjoy!

MADISON, CT –March 2, 2017 — On May 2nd 10am to noon ,the Connecticut Special Education PTO (SEPTO) Alliance is hosting Special Education Day at the State Capital in Hartford, CT; a celebration of the achievements and contributions of Connecticut’s special education students. “Our students who have benefited from special education make a major contribution to our economy and to our richness as a society.” says featured speaker, Senator Ted Kennedy Jr. “This day is an opportunity to recognize the many achievements of exceptional Connecticut students and highlight the importance of special education programs in our schools.”

Students from around the State will speak about their success and their struggles. Guests in attendance will be treated to a sampling of the breadth of Unified activities taking place in schools across Connecticut including; Unified arts, sports and robotics.

“This year in particular,” says SEPTO Alliance President, Kevin Daly, “We want to highlight the contribution Special Education programs bring to all aspects of a school’s curriculum.”    Research shows time and again,” continues Daly, “inclusive schools that address the needs of all students result in significant improved performance for students with or without disabilities”.

Also speaking will be ACT Rookie of the Year racecar driver Devin O’Connell. O’Connell is a 2016 graduate of Daniel Hand High School in Madison, where he received special instruction as a student with autism. “I felt different in school and sometimes it was really hard,” says O’Connell “but I’ve learned to use autism as an advantage.” O’Connell wants to inspire other special education students and will announce his “Champions Challenge”, in which special education students are asked to send in personal stories of overcoming challenges. The winners will be invited to be a” pit crew member for the day” on O’Connell’s racing team.

Special Education Day at the State Capitol will be held on May 2nd, 10am to noon, in the Old Judiciary Room on the 3rd Floor of the Connecticut State Capitol, 210 Capitol Avenue, in Hartford . Please let us know you are coming with an email RSVP to event coordinator Lisa Nee Lisa@allennee.com

Special Education Day at the State Capital ,is sponsored by the Connecticut Special Education PTO Alliance, which is a statewide council of Special Education PTO groups in Connecticut communities. For more information about the Connecticut SEPTO Alliance, contact Kevin Daly at kevin@septoalliance.org

O’Connell Going Hands On in Transition to Super Late Models

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March 10, 2017

After two years of tearing up the Legends Cars circuit in both the North and South, Devin O’Connell took the opportunity in 2016 to make a big step up, competing full-time on the American-Canadian Tour circuit.  Later in the year, he also made his Late Model Stock Car debut to cap off a memorable year. Now, the 19-year-old Connecticut driver is set to take another big step into one the top levels in short track racing: Super Late Models.

While a lot of young drivers nowadays seek out rides in the Super Late Model and Pro Stock ranks, O’Connell is taking the old-fashioned approach, running his own set of wheels out of his new shop on the Connecticut shore.  The former Legends Cars standout will run a New England based schedule, with family and friends coming onboard to fill out his team.

“We’re running our own team this year, it’s a little cheaper to run it by ourselves. It’s going to be me and a bunch of buds,” O’Connell told Speed51.com powered by JEGS.  “We’ve bought a really good car from Dearborn Racing up in Maine, an old Hamke car that’s absolutely mint.”

In 2016, O’Connell sat behind the wheel of the Hallstrom Motorsports No. 1 ACT Late Model, but he’s accustomed to maintaining his own cars in both Allison Legacy and Legends Cars from previous years.  While maintaining his own cars,he scored multiple champions, including track, state, national, and world titles in Legend Cars in 2015.

O’Connell is embracing the chance to be more hands on to learn about intricacies of the Super Late Model.

“We’re trying to get started, I want to learn how to set up bump-stops and all that. Learn how the suspension works with the Supers versus everything else. It’s about learning how they work, I’m happy I get to my hands dirty again.”

O’Connell has his eyes set on the rookie title in the Granite State Pro Stock Series with occasional appearances planned in PASS North, including one of the biggest short track events of them all.

“The plan is to run the Granite State Pro Stocks full-time with an occasional PASS show, the Oxford 250 and the Pro Stock Nationals at Seekonk. If we can get some sponsors I would love to hit up as many of the big shows around the country as I can,” he stated.  “I’m willing to drive anything with four wheels and a motor, we get what we need, we’ll try to expand, get outside the Northeast and see what goes down.”

O’Connell has shown promise in his first year of Late Models, most recently making the field for the Battle at the Beach last November at Myrtle Beach Speedway during his debut in a Late Model Stock Car. He also picked up Rookie of the Year honors with the American-Canadian Tour.

“We started to show our strength near the end of the year at Hallstrom Motorsports,” he commented. “They gave me such a great opportunity last year and I’m so thankful for it. This year with how the circumstances have gone we figured getting our own car was a little bit better deal. If we get some sponsorship and I can do a couple of races with Hallstrom, I’d love to go up for a couple shows, maybe do the Milk Bowl and some of the big Thunder Road races. It all depends on money.”

Currently the plan for O’Connell is to debut his new ride at the GSPSS season opener at Lee USA Speedway in New Hampshire on April 30. O’Connell has hinted that this might come sooner if the team gets its ducks in a row and they can get the car ready to race, with the team dropping the engine in the car over the past week. Whenever that first outing comes, it will not be soon enough for the eager young gun.

“I’m excited, I’ve been wanting to run a Super Late Model since I was 13. Finally being able to say I’ve raced one is neat. I’m stoked, I can’t wait.”

-By: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com CT, MA & Long Island Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT

Rookie Spotlight Presented By TraqGear: Devin O’Connell Preparing for New Challenge as Late Model Owner/Driver

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Connecticut driver will share his on-track experience through a partnership with TVU Networks

By Richard Slifkin – on Twitter at @MotorsportsPR

2016 American-Canadian Tour Rookie of the Year Devin O’Connell at the ACT Tour Banquet of Champions. Credit: ACT Tour

Madison, Connecticut driver Devin O’Connell closed out his 2016 racing season by capturing American Canadian Late Model Tour Rookie of the Year honors. Now, as the start of his 2017 season draws near, the 19-year-old is preparing to bring his family run team to the Granite State Pro Stock Series (GSPSS). This off-season has been a busy one, as O’Connell moved into a new race shop and is currently building his own car. Last year, he raced for Vermont-based Hallstrom Motorsports in a driver development program.

“It’s actually my first year being both owner and driver, so that will be cool to bring my family run team up to the super late model ranks and see how we run,“ O’Connell stated. “In addition to the full GSPSS schedule we have about five Pro All Star Series (PASS) races on our schedule we’re going to try and run, including the Oxford 250 and maybe the Mason Dixon Mega Meltdown at Hickory.”

O’Connell will look to continue the momentum he closed out the 2016 season with, as he earned five straight top fifteen finishes, including back-to-back top tens in the final two races of the year, to clinch his Rookie title. His 2017 season is scheduled to start with the PASS race at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (CT), where he won his heat race then recorded a solid eighth-place, lead-lap finish last October.

Devin O’Connell after an Allison Legacy Race Series event in May 2014 at Florence Motor Speedway (SC). Credit: Richard Slifkin

Racing since the age of nine, O’Connell earned over 30 wins and two championships in kart racing. He then raced in the Allison Legacy Race Series for a few years, highlighted by winning the championship in 2014 after collecting 10 wins in 16 races. He also raced Legend Cars in 2014, winning 12 of 35 Semi Pro division starts and recording a total of 28 top 5 finishes. He continued his winning ways in Legends competition in 2015, racing to 42 wins in 92 events en route to World, National, State, Touring and Track championships.

Devin recently finalized a new partnership, which will allow him to share his experiences in the driver’s seat this year with fans worldwide via live Facebook video. “I will be partnering with TVU Networks for the 2017 season, and will have a TVU Network box in my car that will allow me to live stream the races on Facebook from the cockpit of my car,” O’Connell explained. “This will be a first in short track racing, and I am excited to be working with TVU Networks.”

The 11-race GSPSS season kicks off at Lee USA Speedway on April 30. One of the events Devin is most looking forward to this year comes on July 1 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, which will be his first time racing on the one-mile oval. Throughout the season, his goal will remain the same: “My goal is to try and run up front every week, figure the setup out as quick as I can, and try run for top five in points.”

Fans can keep up with Devin O’Connell on his website at www.devinoconnellracing.com, and on social media at @devinoconnellracing (Facebook) and @_devinoconnell (Twitter and Instagram).

O’Connell Seeking Partners for 2017 Champion Challenge

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Devin has lived the life of many youth who struggle to find their place in the world. Diagnosed at the age of nine with Asperger Syndrome, a form of high functioning Autism, Devin struggled socially, had difficulty making friends, and encountered bullying at a young age. Fortunately, Devin followed his passion of becoming a race car driver. He began racing go-karts at the age of nine. The environment at the track proved to be a great place for Devin to  socialize with other kids who also loved to talk exclusively about racing and cars. Devin wants to use what he has learned to inspire and give hope to others. He has used his gift of public speaking to talk to schools and other groups about having Asperger Syndrome and how he has managed to turn his disability into a different type of ability.

Champion Challenge

  • Speak to groups and schools on the topic of exceptionalities. Looking to motivate, inspire, and give hope
    • Find your purpose, your passion
      • What do you love to do
      • Find your people
      • Learn social skills in a comfortable environment
    • Inclusion
      • Everyone has something to offer
      • Buddy System
    • Respect
      • Respect earns respect
      • Treat others like you want to be treated
      • Anti-Bullying
    • Leadership
    • Mentorship
  • Have participants submit their story of overcoming personal challenge or how they made a difference in another person’s life
  • Corporate partner swag for attendees
    • Additional swag for inspirational stories submitted
    • GRAND PRIZE for the winning story to include Honorary Crew Member at a race all expenses paid

Link: Key Note Speech on Exceptionalities Day at Polson Middle School, Madison, CT

 

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