Kevin O’Connell (born April 29, 1967) is an American professional stock car racing driver. He currently competes part-time in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, driving the No. 51 Chevrolet SS for Rick Ware Racing.


Racing career

O’Connell ran in the Rolex Sports Car Series in 2006 for O’Connell Racing in the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen. O’Connell also ran two races in the 2012 season with Rick Ware Racing at Road America and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

 

From 2007 to 2008, O’Connell ran four races in the K&N Pro Series West, with a best finish of 15th at Infineon Raceway in 2007. In 2013, O’Connell entered the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series race at Brands Hatch, becoming the first American to race in the series on a road course.

 

In 2008, O’Connell made his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in the No. 09 Chevrolet for O’Connell Racing, with his Rolex pit crew also servicing his NASCAR team, and Rolex teammate Kevin Roush serving as spotter. After starting 34th, O’Connell was involved in a crash with David Reutimann in turn 7 on lap 36, finishing 37th. In 2010, O’Connell joined Curb Racing in the No. 43 at Road America, finishing 34th after suffering an engine failure. On June 21, 2014, it was announced that O’Connell would run in the Nationwide races at Road America and Watkins Glen International in the No. 23 for Rick Ware Racing. At Road America, after qualifying 26th with a lap speed of 104.941 miles per hour (168.886 km/h), O’Connell finished third. In 2015, O’Connell drove the No. 13 Dodge Challenger for MBM Motorsports at Watkins Glen.

 

In 2017, O’Connell joined RWR’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team, driving the No. 51 Chevrolet SS on a part-time basis.

Personal life

O’Connell is the first driver in NASCAR’s top three series (Cup, Xfinity, Camping World Truck Series) to receive his master’s degree.