Watermelon Capital Speedway has been very good to Connor Okrzesik.
A year ago this weekend, the 18-year-old from Grand Bay, Alabama delivered the ultimate upset in defeating Kyle Busch on a series of late restarts to score his first Super Late Model victory. He followed that up with his ARCA Racing Series debut and another victory when Super Late Models returned to Cordele, Georgia in August.
He returns to the South Georgia bullring with an opportunity to win three-straight at Watermelon Capital while also hoping to recapture the attention of a national audience.
“Everything is pretty much the same as last year,” Okrzesik said about his No. 14 car.
That portends bad news for those likes Bubba Pollard, Stephen Nasse or Travis Braden, hoping to unseat him in the states shortest short track.
While defeating Busch head-to-head didn’t earn him any immediate endorsements or sponsorships, Okrzesik says his initial triumph was simply the moment he realized he belonged with the upper-echelon of stock car racing.
“It just helped with confidence, really,” Okrzesik said. “There was nothing beyond the credit on social media and stuff like that, but I left here with a lot of confidence for the rest of the year.”
Following his attempt to three-peat at Cordele, Okrzesik plans a similar campaign in 2020 as the one he recently completed in December at the Snowball Derby — a full slate of Super Late Model races mixed-in with ARCA and ARCA East appearances.
And he hopes to simply win.
“We just need to win,” Okrzesik said. “I want to get a lot of top-fives and top-10s in ARCA, just be in the mix there. That would be a good season. We’ve had success in Late Models and we want to continue that success.”