Devin Finishes 2nd and 5th at 41st Annual Turkey Derby

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Devin had a good showing at the 2014 Turkey Derby at Wall Stadium Speedway in Wall Township, NJ.  The 41st annual Turkey Derby included 2 Legend races, the first one on Friday the 28th and  the second on Sunday the 30th.  Devin, and the 860 Motorsports team, participated in both events and brought home a 5th and 2nd place finish respectively.

During the first race on Friday, Devin qualified 8th of the 38 car entries with a 2nd place heat race effort. When the green flag fell, Devin quickly worked up to 6th and on lap ten he broke into the top 5. Devin continued moving forward and took the 4th spot on lap 13 and the 3rd position on lap 20. A caution on lap 22 followed by a less than stellar restart resulted in Devin dropping back to 5th where is remained until the checker flag.

The second race on Sunday saw a field of 23 cars. Devin qualified on the outside pole by winning his heat race. During the 40-lap feature, Devin spent the early laps running in 1st through 3rd place. Toward the second half of the race, he was in 2nd working on taking over the top spot. Unfortunately, he was not able to make it happen and finished in 2nd…a very respectable run at his first Turkey Derby against a fierce group of competitors

Former Chatham Resident Wins Southern Racing Championship

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Appeared in November 27, 2014 issue of the Cape Cod Chronicle (chatham_edition_20141127_34)

CHATHAM – Former Chatham resident Devin O’Connell, a 17-year-old junior at Daniel Hand High School in Madison, Conn. was recently crowned champion in the 2014 Allison Legacy Touring Series Champion.

O’Connell, who got his racing start on the Cape, finished third in the final race of the season on Nov. 1 at the Florence Motor Speedway in Timmonsville, S.C. He proved to be the best driver this season, winning 10 of 16 races and finishing in the top three in all 16 races.

“I am so happy to be able to win this championship,” O’Connell said through a press release. “Thank you to the Allison Brothers for a fantastic series. Thanks to my Dad for putting this car together week after week. Thank you Chatham Highlander Motel for the sponsorship. I had such a great experience driving this car for the past five years.”

O’Connell, the subject of a Cape Cod Chronicle feature this summer, has been racing in the southern Allison Legacy Series since 2012. Last year, he finished second in the point standings and won his first race, the Allison Legacy Challenge, at the final race of the season at Florence Speedway. In addition, O’Connell was the recipient of the “Most Improved Driver Award” and he, along with his crew chief and father, won the Sportsmanship Award.

The Allison Legacy Series was started by the three sons of NASCAR legend Donnie Allison. The car is a three-quarter scale replica of a NASCAR and the series races at tracks in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. The Legacy cars have been a stepping-stone in the careers of many current NASCAR drivers including Joey Logano, Trevor Bayne, Regan Smith, David Reagan, and Brian Vickers.

A resident of Madison, Conn., O’Connell jumped at the chance to race in the southern series when his mother took a new job in Charlotte, N.C. a few year ago. Prior to that, he participated in the Allison Legacy North Series in 2010 and 2011, racing at tracks throughout New England. Another job change resulted in O’Connell’s family returning to Madison this past fall. In addition to racing in the Legacy series, O’Connell added Legend car racing to his 2014 season, racing for 860 Motorsports. Legends cars are five-eighths-scale race cars powered by a Yamaha motorcycle engine and are designed to resembleAmerican automobiles from the 1930s and 1940s.

O’Connell has had an impressive rookie season, winning his fifth start on the road course at Charlotte Motor Speedway during the Winter Heat Race Series in January. His success continued at the U.S. Legends Winter Nationals at Auburndale Speedway in Winter Haven, Fla. in February, where he finished second in points, recording one win and four top-five finishes.

The highlight of O’Connell’s Legend season came at the Summer Shootout at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where he finished in the top five in seven of the 10 races with two wins and three second place finishes. His first win on June 16 was televised nationally on MAVTV.

O’Connell had the points lead heading into the final race of the Shootout when an unfortunate incident on the track resulted in a cut right front tire. The flat tire cost the young racer several laps as his car underwent repairs in the pits, resulting in a 15th place finish. The unfortunate turn dropped O’Connell to third place in points, but it was still an impressive effort for a rookie in the Summer Shootout.

O’Connell rebounded on Aug. 2 by picking up the Semi-Pro divisional win and the famed guitar trophy during Legendstock at Bethel Motor Speedway in White Lake, N.Y. In total, O’Connell won 12 Legends races in 32 starts during his 2014 season, including a win at Stafford Motor Speedway (CT) on Sept. 12 and a Semi-Pro divisional win at Seekonk (MA) on Oct. 3. His overall 2014 winning percentage in both the Legacy and Legend car divisions is an astounding 43.75 percent with an average finish of approximately third place (3.21 to be exact).

O’Connell, who experienced a five-race winning streak this season, has two more races in his Legend car to wrap up the 2014 season. He will be racing in the “Turkey Derby” at Wall Stadium in Wall, N.J. on Nov. 28 and 30. His final Legend race for the year is the U.S. Legends World Road Racing Championship at Virginia International Raceway on Dec. 7 in Alton, Va.

Plans for the 2015 season include racing a full season in the Legend car at tracks located in the northeast. O’Connell also plans to race the Winter Nationals in Orlando, Fla. in February, “The Battle of the Big Top” in April at Texas Motor Speedway, and the Summer Shootout at Charlotte Motor Speedway. O’Connell is also hoping to make a debut in a full-scale late model car.

Devin O’Connell 2014 Allison Legacy Series Champion

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Posted on the Allison Legacy Series Website, November 2014

Devin O’Connell has won the 2014 Allison Legacy Series Championship .  He won ten races and finished in the top five in all of the sixteen races run this year.  His final points were 1619 points, 264 over second place.  This was his third year in the Touring Series and before that he ran in the New England region of Legacy racing.  In 2012, O’Connell had an average finish of fifth place and finished fifth in points.   For 2013 he finished second in points and his best finishes were second place four times.   He won his first race, the Allison Legacy Challenge, at the last race at Florence Speedway in 2013.  That was a race for all non-winners where he took the checkers and continued his wins in 2014.  At the 2013 series [banquet], Devin won the “Most Improved Driver” and his team got the “Sportsmanship” award .  Now a graduate of the Allison Legacy Series , he is ready to move on in his career .  O’Connell lives in Madison, Connecticut.  It was a pleasure to have him in this series, he is a respectful young man and has become  a fierce race car driver who  will make any sponsor proud………………

O’Connell Wins 2014 Allison Legacy Championship

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Devin O’Connell, a 17 year-old junior at Daniel Hand High School, is the 2014 Allison Legacy Touring Series Champion. Devin finished third in the final race of the season on November 1st, at Florence Motor Speedway in Timmonsville, SC. Starting on the pole for the final race, Devin was in the lead with 12 laps to go, when he lost the handling of his Thunderbird and spun out resulting in a caution. He had to restart at the back of the field and was able to work his way up to third before running out of laps in his effort to catch the leaders.

In the post-race interview Devin stated, “I am so happy to be able to win this championship.  Thank you to the Allison Brothers for a fantastic series. Thanks to my Dad for putting this car together week after week…Thank you Chatham Highlander Motel for the sponsorship…I had such a great experience driving this car for the past five years.”

The 2014 Legacy season consisted of 16 races at tracks in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. Devin proved to be the driver to beat winning 10 of the 16 races with a five race winning streak and finishing in the top 3 in all 16 races.

Devin has been racing in the southern Allison Legacy Series for the past three years. Last year, Devin finished second in the point standings and won his first race, the Allison Legacy Challenge, at the final race of the season at Florence Speedway. In addition, Devin was the recipient of the “Most Improved Driver Award” and he, along with his crew chief and father, won the “Sportsmanship Award.”

Living in Madison since 2006, Devin jumped at the chance to race in the southern series when his mother took a new job in Charlotte. Prior to moving to North Carolina, Devin participated in the Allison Legacy North Series in 2010 and 2011, racing at tracks throughout New England. Another job change has resulted in Devin returning to his hometown of Madison this past fall.

The Allison Legacy Series was started by the three sons of NASCAR legend Donnie Allison. The car is a ¾ scale replica of a NASCAR and the series has been a stepping-stone in the careers of many current NASCAR drivers such as Joey Logano, Trevor Bayne, Regan Smith, David Reagan, and Brian Vickers.

In addition to racing in the Legacy series, Devin added Legend car racing to his 2014 season. He won his fifth start on the road course at Charlotte Motor Speedway during the Winter Heat Race Series in January. His success continued at the US Legends Winter Nationals at Auburndale Speedway in Winter Haven, FL, in February. Devin finished second in the points with one win and top five finishes in 4 of the five races.

The highlight of Devin’s Legend season came at the Summer Shootout at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Devin finished in the top five in seven of the 10 races with 2 wins and 3 second place finishes. His first win on June 16th, was televised nationally on MAVTV. Devin had the points lead heading into the final race when an unfortunate incident on the track resulted in a cut right front tire. The flat tire cost Devin several laps and he finished the final race in 15th causing him to drop to third in the final point standings.

On August 2nd, Devin rebounded with the Semi-Pro divisional win and an overall 7th place finish out of 44 cars during Legendstock at Bethel Motor Speedway in White Lake, NY. In total, Devin won 12 Legends races in 32 starts during his 2014 season including a win at Stafford Motor Speedway (CT) on September 12th and a Semi-Pro divisional win at Seekonk (MA) on October 3rd. His overall 2014 winning percentage in both car divisions is 43.75% with an average finish of 3.21.Devin has 2 more races in his Legend car to wrap up the 2014 season. He will be racing at Wall Stadium in Wall, NJ on November 28th and 30th.  The final Legend race will take place December 6th, on the road course at Virginia International Raceway, in Alton, VA, for the US Legends World Road Racing Championship.

You can learn more about Devin O’Connell by visiting his website at DevinOConnellRacing.com, Facebook.com/devinoconnellracing, and twitter @_DevinOConnell.IMG_0591

Diverse Devin O’Connell

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WINNING WAYS: Devin O’Connell enjoys victory lane at North Carolina’s Southern National Motorsports Park after winning his forth straight Allison Legacy Series feature.

Article from Speed Sport Magazine, October 2014

by Jacob Seelman

Sixteen-year-old racer Devin O’Connell has taken the phrase “all over the map” to a new level this season.

O’Connell, who races in both the Allison Legacy Series and a Legend Car, has made a slightly less-conventional move from Charlotte, NC, to Connecticut as the Northeast is the region of the country where his family originated.  The move comes while O’Connell is transitioning back and forth between the two very different styles of race cars while racing at tracks such as Charlotte (NC) Motor Speedway, Riverhead (NY) Raceway, Seekonk (Mass) Speedway, Virginia’s Motor Mile Speedway and Dillon (SC) Motor Speedway, up and down the East Coast.

“The move itself happened because my mom’s job moved up to New York, so we came back to Connecticut, where my dad is originally from. But it really hasn’t changed a lot of what we wanted to accomplish, O’Connell said in regard to how the move affected his racing mindset. “We knew from the beginning of the year that we were going to travel to a lot of the big Legends races and chase the entire Allison Legacy Series schedule, se we’re just basically running our season and having fun in the process. It does rack up the travel miles a little bit though.”

O’Connell has become a seasoned traveler — and he’s leading the Allison Legacy Series standings despite the multi-state commute from Connecticut to participate in the Southern-based series.

Heading into fall, he had eight victories in 12 Allison Legacy races, including a four-race winning streak. He’s not finished out of the top five this season. The talented teenager held a 125-point advantage over fellow young gun Jake Ruggles with five races remaining. O’Connell has competed in the Allison Legacy Series since 2010 and is chasing his first series title.

O’Connell said he and his team have been working toward this kind of success since the beginning, but he acknowledged this season has been a surprise.

“It’s unlike anything we ever anticipated coming into this year,” O’Connell said. “We’re a small team — my dad and I really didn’t know what we were doing at first — but to now come out the way we have and be the championship point leader after where we started five years ago, it’s a really special feeling for all of the people involved and I couldn’t be more proud of how far we’ve come together as a team.”

Despite his long tenure in the series, O’Connell continues to soak up information and learn how to do things differently.

“The Allison Legacy car has taught me so much this year, with the extra weight and increased torque, really finally getting a feel for how much different that is from the Legend Car — you really have to get up on the wheel and it almost rolls like a Cadillac.” O’Connell laughed

In addition to his overwhelming success in the Allison Legacy car, O’Connell has been no slouch behind the wheel of his 860 Motorsports Legend Car. O’Connell led the Jack in the box Summer Shootout Series Semi-Pro division for much of the 10-race, eight-week series at Charlotte Motor Speedway, winning two races along the way. He held the championship lead going into the final night of the summer before a flat tire derailed his title hopes.

I couldn’t have asked for a better summer showing than what we had at the Shootout,” O’Connell said.” I wish it would have ended a little better than it did. We really wanted that championship but that flat tire ended our chances at it. Despite that, though, I had a lot of fun and I feel like I learned a lot about myself as a racer for having had to fight like we did through the whole summer. It was truly one of the best experiences in racing that I’ve had to this point in my career.”

O’Connell has also raced the Legend Car at historic tracks in New England this year, including Waterford (Conn) Speedbowl, and Riverhead’s quarter mile bullring, notching top-10 finishes at both facilities in his first visits there.

The highlight of his Northeast season, however, was LegendSTOCK 2014 at Bethel (NY) Motor Speedway where he survived several late race incidents and challenges to finish seventh overall and claim the Semi-Pro class victory and the glass guitar trophy that came with it.

“We’ve been solid everywhere we’ve gone this year, but LegendSTOCK just fell right to us,” O’Connell said. “We dodged a late-race wreck with 10 laps to go that took out some of the really fast cars and just focused on racing our race. I knew if I did what I had to do, then we would be in contention and we were in the right place at the right time.

“To pick up the class victory was indescribable — it’s one of the trophies that I will smile about for a long time,” O’Connell added. “It’s definitely one of the highlights of my career so far.”

O’Connell would like to add another highlight, however, an Allison Legacy Series championship. He’s been close once already, finishing second to Justin LaDuke last year. He’d like to improve that by one spot and based on his body of work this year, he’s well on his way to cementing that goal.

“I don’t want to say it’s done — that’s the last thing you ever want to do when you’re in a position like the one I’m in this year — but we’re close. We just have to keep doing what we’ve been doing all season long and the rest should take car of itself.

“It would mean the world to me to finally have this championship. We’ve worked so hard, it would be a dream come true.”

The Allison Legacy Series concludes its season on Nov. 15 at North Carolina’s Southern National Motorsports Park.

O’Connell Finishes 3rd at Jack-in-the-Box Summer Shootout

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Devin finished third in the Legends Semi-pro points standings at his first appearance in the Jack-In-the-Box Summer Shootout.  Devin found his way to victory lane 2 times and had 7 top five finishes including three 2nd place efforts.  His initial success had him in the points lead heading into the final race of the series, but the championship was to be denied.  On the first lap of the final feature, Devin was hit resulting in a flat right front tire.  The repair time in the pits put Devin a few laps down and resulted in a 15th place finish.  “I can’t be too disappointed.  The experience was amazing and exceeded my expectations. Thanks to my family, especially my Dad for his support, Thanks to CJ D”Addario and the entire crew of 860 Motorsports and thanks to my sponsor – The Chatham Highlander Motel.”  Devin plans on returning to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the 2015 Summer Shootout.

Round 1, June 9 – 5th

Round 2, June 10 – 10th

Round 3, June 17 – 1st

Round 4, June 24 – 2nd

Round 5, July 1 – 4th

Round 6, July 8 – 2nd

Round 7, July 15 – 17th

Round 8, July 22, 2nd

Round 9, July 28 – 1st

Round 10, July 29 – 15th