NASCAR Nationwide Series team JR Motorsports announced on Thursday that veteran sports car racer Johnny O’Connell will drive a No. 5 Chevrolet entry for the team at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., on June 22. He’ll be a teammate to series regular and JRM full-time driver Regan Smith.
“Needless to say, I’m extremely excited about the opportunity (team owners) Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. and Kelley (Earnhardt-Miller) have presented me,” O’Connell said. “Over the years, competing in NASCAR is something I’ve always wanted to do, but I never thought I’d get the opportunity. To be given that shot with JR Motorsports is something that I fully expect to dedicate 100 percent of my effort to, and I truly appreciate (sponsor) CorvetteParts.net for stepping up to support our team. I plan to give them all I have.”
The race at Road America will be O’Connell’s NASCAR debut. He recently prepared for the race by testing with JR Motorsports at Virginia International Raceway earlier this week. He also plans to participate in another test with the team prior to the race.
O’Connell is considered one of the most successful GM factory drivers in the US. His accomplishments include being three-time American Le Mans champion for Corvette Racing and World Challenge champion for Cadillac. His resume also includes a 24 Hours of Daytona win and eight 12 Hours of Sebring victory.
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