Interest in automobiles and motor racing has been in the O’Connell and Cassin families respectively, since the earliest days of the auto industry.
Modern racing in the O'Connell family dates back to the late 1950's and early 60’s with car owner & driver Augustus "Gus" O'Connell Jr., an Annapolis (United States Naval Academy) trained mechanical engineer and east coast sports car racer from Huntington Long Island, New York.
Gus raced and fielded a Fiat Abarth Allemano "H" production sports car in regional SCCA races on the east coast at tracks such as Lime Rock Park in Connecticut, Bridgehampton Race Circuit on New York's Long Island, Marlboro Motor Raceway in Maryland, Thompson International Speedway in Connecticut and Vineland Speedway in southern New Jersey. Crew members and girlfriend at the time Susie Cassin (later Susan O'Connell) Denny Cassin and high school friend Roger Ryan were among the early crew members.
In the 1990's, Kevin O'Connell (son of Gus) began training and racing with Skip Barber Racing in the open wheel Formula Dodge Series at tracks such as Laguna Seca, Road America and California Speedway.
After the completion of an undergraduate degree from Cal State Northridge in Political Science (pre-law) and earning a Masters Degree in Business (MBA) from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, O'Connell Racing was once again active.
This era of racing was based in Southern California and centered on NASCAR’s local and regional premiere series. Kevin began racing in the NASCAR Ultra Wheels Super Truck series and the NASCAR Superlate Model Series with Scott Calvin Racing at Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale, California.
In 2003, Kevin began testing in NASCAR's Southwest Tour Series for both oval track and road course racing. The team campaigned a two car team in the NASCAR Irwindale Speedway Superlate Model Series until the end of the 2005 racing season. Throughout 2005 and into 2006, the team also competed in the American Stock Car Challenge (ASC), a western United States series that competes exclusively on road courses at tracks such as California Speedway, Phoenix International Speedway and Infineon Raceway.
In 2006 and into 2007, Kevin and a team led by lifelong friends Ronnie Norwood and Roy Montgomery began racing in North America in the internationally recognized Grand-Am Rolex Series in a Porsche GT-3 Cup car competing in select races at Daytona International Speedway, Watkins Glen International, Barber Motorsports Park and Infineon Raceway.
In December of 2006, the team won the west coast's most prestigious endurance race "The 25 Hours of Thunderhill" and in 2007 finished 10th in the Grand-Am Rolex Series 24 Hours of Daytona in a Porsche GT-3 Cup Car with drivers Kevin O'Connell, Kevin Roush, Michael Speakman, Jason Bowles and Lonnie Pechnik.
Since 2008, the team competed in both the Grand-Am Rolex Series and the NASCAR West and Nationwide Series. In the Rolex Series, drivers Kevin O’Connell and Kevin Roush finished 10th at Mexico City, Mexico, 6th at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and 5th as the top finishing Porsche at the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen.
Heading into the Future
With the beginning of a new decade of racing, OCR has established an east coast collaboration with former stand-out SCCA Trans-am and NASCAR driver and current team owner Rick Ware and Ware Racing. Recognized as “The Biggest Little Team in Motorsports”, Rick and his colleagues add an additional dimension of expertise, experience and ambition that OCR will utilize in both the Grand-Am Rolex Series and NASCAR.