Thompson, CT – Devin O’Connell clamed the 2016 American Canadian Tour rookie-of-the-year honors following his 8th place finish at the Thompson Speedway Sunoco World Series on Saturday, October 15th. Heading into the final ACT Tour race of the season, O’Connell trailed rookie leader Ryan Olsen by 2 points. The rookie duo swapped the lead several times throughout the 13-race ACT Tour season.
The World Series was the first time O’Connell and his Hallstrom Motorsports team visited the 5/8-mile track. Concerned about hitting the correct setup, the team was able to dial in the car during the early afternoon 1-hour test session. O’Connell started his respective heat races in 6th place and drove his number 1 late model to the front, claiming his first heat race win of the 2016 season.
After the heat race O’Connell reported, “The car was fantastic! I could put it anywhere on the track and it would stick.”
The qualifying efforts landed O’Connell a 4th place start among the 31 car entries for the 75-lap feature event. O’Connell drove a clean and steady race, battling New England’s best late model drivers. At the conclusion of the race, Devin finished 8th overall and first among the rookie contenders. The result was a two point lead in the rookie points earning Devin ACT Tour rookie of the year honors.
During the post race interview with HCTV-20 Devin stated, “It’s just unbelievable. With a team that’s new to the tour and with myself being brand new to late models this year, after graduating from Legend Cars, to be able to come out here and win rookie of the year in one of the most prestigious late model tours in North America…I’m stoked right now and I can’t believe we were able to pull it off.”