In a partnership between Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) teams Rick Ware Racing (RWR) and Premium Motorsports, Kevin O’Connell will pilot the No. 15 Chevrolet in Sunday’s Toyota / Save Mart 350.
O’Connell, an accomplished road course racer by trade debut will be supported by SBC Contractors Inc., a Sacramento-area building contractor offering a wide range of residential and commercial building services, for both new and remodel projects.
O’Connell, the first American to race in all of NASCAR’s international series (Europe, Canada and Mexico) is an accomplished road racer with prior experience in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Series.
From 2008 to 2015 O’Connell competed in the NASCAR XFINITY Series for a variety of team owners earning his career-best finish of third at Road America (Wisc.) driving for Rick Ware Racing after starting 26th.
“I can’t wait to get strapped back into a race car this weekend,” said O’Connell. “This is a great opportunity for me to make my Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut at Sonoma, a place I’ve always wanted to compete at in stock cars.
“I’m extremely appreciative of the effort between Rick Ware Racing and Premium Motorsports for putting a car together and of course, SBC Contractors Inc. for stepping up to the plate and sponsoring me.”
Returning to Sonoma for the first time since competing in back-to-back NASCAR K&N Pro Series West races in 2007 and 2008, O’Connell says he believes he can get caught up quickly on familiarizing himself with the track’s 2.52-mile layout.
“It’s been a while since I’ve raced at Sonoma, but I know the track pretty well,” he added. “This weekend is a hometown race for me. I want to go out there and do the best we can. As a driver, you always like to go racing to win. If we see the checkered flag with the car in one piece and with a solid top-25 finish, that would be a victory for us.”
With Independence Day around the corner, O’Connell’s No. 15 race car will sport a patriotic paint scheme, a look that the Newport Beach, Calif. native embraces since his sponsor’s owner Steve Brandenburg designed the car.
“I really enjoyed working on the design of the car,” Brandenburg said. “Although I did not serve in the military, I know a lot of people who did and have the utmost respect for them and would do whatever to support them. Last year at the Fontana race we took two Marines from Camp Pendleton as guests. I want to thank all those brave men and women in the Armed Forces for defending this great country.”