Like all boys young and old, Conner Dutting-Morrell likes to drive fast. Unlike other boys, Connor gets to drive fast in national races. Conner is a fourth-grader at Rowlett Elementary and is also the USAC Northeast Series Champion in Junior Animal and third-place winner in Junior Honda. Past winners of the USAC Northeast Series, which has been celebrating American racing since 1956, have gone on to become Indy 500 champions and champions in other motorsports. Conner has been driving for nearly five years and doesn’t plan on slowing down any time soon.
His favorite thing about racing?
“Winning,” he says while outfitted in his royal blue racing suit, Monday, at his school.
Conner’s vehicles are adorned with stickers from past races and sponsors.
At the rate he’s going, Conner’s father, Allen Morrell, says he could be driving cars at 13. Currently, the 9-year-old is transitioning from Junior Honda and Junior Animal vehicles to the more powerful LT 160. Next year, Allen Morrell plans on his son driving his LT 160 full time.
Balancing school and racing is important to Allen Morrell. Because there are only a few racetracks large enough to practice on in the state, Conner is able to focus on school while he is home. However, not having access to the tracks also means other teams have an advantage, Allen Morrell says.
Conner and his family have driven and flown across the country for his races. Because there are few races in Florida, the family has to travel as far as New York for Conner and his teammate, Danny Sams, to compete. But the hard work has paid off.
Conner and Danny are planning to attend USAC’s “Night of Champions” national awards banquet later this year.
By the Numbers
5 1/2: How old Conner Dutting-Morrell was when he started racing
3: Number of cars he races today
25: Number of races he’s competed in this year
1,333: Number of miles the family drove for one race in Fulton, N.Y.
40: Number of miles per hour Conner’s LT 160 can go
13: Age kids are starting to race in cars
Contact Harriet Sokmensuer at email@example.com.