BRADFORD, ON – In the midst of a head-turning start to his freshman Ltd. Late Model season, rising star Connor James will continue his 2018 campaign full of firsts with a NASCAR Pinty’s Series debut at Jukasa Motor Speedway scheduled for June 16th.
James will pilot a car prepared by former NASCAR Pinty’s Series regular Anthony Simone in the first of what has the potential to be an extended partnership between the two entities.
“For the last few months it’s been this incredible feeling that hasn’t quite sunk in,” admits James of his reaction to making his start with Canada’s national series. “I’ve been going to [NASCAR Pinty’s Series] races for as long as I can remember, but I never thought I’d have the chance to compete in one. It’s a bigger opportunity than I could ever have asked for.”
“But – this week – our whole team needs to push those thoughts out of our heads,” adds the second-generation racer. “We can’t go into [Jukasa] feeling like we’re just happy to be there, because we’ll get steamrolled if we do. We have to unload at the speedway feeling like we can make an impact.”
Connor grew up in the pit area of Ontario short tracks with his Father – former Late Model regular Rob James – and, as a result, has a mature outlook on the sport and what’s expected of him that is well beyond his years.
“My Dad has always taught me to have confidence in myself and my equipment and this weekend isn’t going to be any different,” says the former Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup Series Rookie of the Year. “Anthony and his guys are prepping a fantastic car for us. They’re going to give me everything I need to make a strong first impression with the Series. If I can’t get the job done – it’s not going to be anyone’s fault but my own.”
Still, despite the well-prepped equipment and strong sense of self-belief, James is not afraid to lend credit to the NPS regulars that are likely to represent a stiff test at the fastest facility he has ever competed at.
“The guys that follow this schedule all across the county are some of the absolute best racers in the business,” says James.
“It’s going to be real tough to go up against these guys at a speedway I’ve never raced at. But, we don’t ever seem to do things the easy way. This is just another challenge we have to meet head on. One way or the other – I know it’s going to make me a better racer when it’s all said and done.”