LOS ANGELES, CA. – December 29th, 2014 – The Jackson racing family representing three generations of stock car racing on the west coast announced today that the 1st annual David M. Jackson Racer’s Achievement Award has been awarded to American NASCAR and sports car road course driver Kevin O’Connell.
The David M. Jackson Racer’s Achievement Award is given annually and bestowed when merited to honor members of the racing community who have made distinguished achievements in racing and competition, contributions in leadership, the advancement of charitable causes or innovation in the general business of motor racing.
David M. Jackson stated, “This annual award is for more than being a winning driver or crew chief, it is intended to be broader in its recognition. In 2014, Kevin was nominated and selected for the award for the following achievements:
- • Only NASCAR driver in a top national series (Nationwide Series) to earn an advanced degree – Master’s Degree in Business (MBA) – Pepperdine University 1999
- • The 1st American to enter and compete in NASCAR Europe in a road race – 2013 in the American SpeedFest at Brands Hatch, England.
- • Family heritage of racing dating back to the 1960’s with father Gus – Kevin has been a team owner & driver in both NASCAR and IMSA.
- • Active in the promotion of charitable causes: Shania Kids Can
- • 1st in the 2014 Toyota Southwest Superlates Series Winter Classic
- • 2nd in championship points 2014 IMSA Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Pro-Am Series with Rick Ware Racing with 2 wins and 7 podiums.
- • 3rd in 2014 NASCAR Xfinity Series in the Gardner Denver 200 at Road America with Rick Ware Racing — named Mobil 1 Driver of the Race.
Only NASCAR driver in a top national series (Nationwide Series) to earn an advanced degree – Master’s Degree in Business (MBA) – Pepperdine University 1999 Kevin O’Connell commented, “I have known about the Jacksons since the late 1990’s and witnessed them dominate the west coast stock car racing scene in California. In the past two years I have been able to get to know Dave, sons Matt and Tony and now grandson Chris. Together with Dave, they represent decades of racing experience and timeless stories about racers past and present. It’s an honor to receive this recognition from the Jackson family and I appreciate their endorsement.”
This award entitles the recipient to a seat on the 2015 nominating committee for the 2015 David M. Jackson Racer’s Achievement Award as well as an entry and fully sponsored race in the 2015 Toyota Southwest Superlates Winter Classic.
About David M. Jackson: In 1972, Jackson Race Cars was founded in Southern California by David M. Jackson. After receiving a degree in engineering from the University of Nevada, David discovered his passion for stock car racing as a driver and team owner, chassis builder, innovator and racing series founder. As an innovator, David was an early adopter of modern stock car concepts. In the late 1970’s, he was the first car builder to construct a fiberglass body for oval track cars. Additionally, David was the first west coast car builder to construct a coil over chassis and the first racer to utilize an adjustable Watts link as a new assembly that was mounted on the back of a quick change rear end primarily used on ovals. David was active in west coast short track stock car racing in the 1980’s and led early developmental efforts for the establishment of the Southwest Tour Series later sanctioned by NASCAR.
As a team owner, David’s team is the only racing team in the history of Irwindale Speedway to win a championship in the same year in both the Late model and Superlate model divisions. He has five Superlate Model championships as a team owner and chassis builder at Irwindale Speedway, accomplished in the first eleven years of operation. David’s teams and cars have competed and won championships at many historical west coast tracks including: Saugus Speedway, Mesa Marin, Craig Road Speedway, El Cajon Speedway, Orange Show, Riverside Raceway and Willow Springs International.
David has had many notable racers drive for his teams throughout their careers including Rick Hendrick, Jimmy Insolo, Ron Esau and Jim Robinson in the 1980’s, Ron Hornaday, Ernie Irvan, Kenny Schrader, Jim Thirkettle and Greg Pursley in the 1990’s, Kurt & Kyle Busch, Rip Michels and Nick Joanides in the 2000’s and three generations of the Gilliland racing family with Butch, David and Todd. After 44 years in the sport of stock car racing, David continues to be an advocate for ambitious stock car drivers and is actively fielding race cars on the west coast for both short track and road course racing with the family business, Jackson Race Cars. David is currently the Director of Competition for the Toyota Southwest Superlates Series — a series he founded in 1993 that races exclusively at Willow Springs International Raceway.
About Kevin O’Connell: Kevin O’Connell is an American road course racing driver featured by O’Connell Racing (OCR) that competes directly in NASCAR throughout North America and Europe, in IMSA — the sanctioning body of the Tudor United Sports Car Championship in the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Racing Series and in SVRA & VARA in various vintage racing events.
FOR Kevin O’Connell (OConnellRacing.com)
Digney & Company
FOR David M. Jackson