Southern Super Series, Kodie Conner.
Kodie Conner, Southern Super Series.
You guys casually know each other, of course, but a proper introduction is in order. After all, the Southern Super Series has expanded into the Carolinas for 2022 with races scheduled at Southern National Motorsports Park, Tri-County Speedway and Greenville-Pickens Speedway.
There is also a bonus program that rewards teams inside the top-12 in driver points.
The Conners transport their car in a modest trailer, especially compared to the massive NASCAR style haulers that surrounded them earlier in the month at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida. Despite that, they’ve had modest success with nine Pro All Stars Series victories at Hickory, Concord, Dillon, Ace, Southern National and Greenville.
All told, the Kodie Conner tiger striped No. 45 is exactly the type of team series director Nicholas Rogers will likely target to round out his full-time grid next season alongside the likes of Bubba Pollard, Stephen Nasse, Jake Garcia and Jett Noland.
And Conner is hoping to make the plunge … a budget notwithstanding.
"The Southern Super Series is a great series. It's exactly the type of place we want to race. Tim Bryant runs a fair series with great competition. You get four races at Pensacola to get ready for the Snowball Derby and now we can run a couple of places close to home."
The Conners haven’t raced as much as they would have liked this year. They refreshed their engine and focused on running larger faster tracks like Five Flags, South Boston, and Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville.
Sponsorship and support is the biggest hurdle for a driver like Conner to overcome -- as it certainly isn’t the pedigree of a third-generation motorsports background. On race weekends, you can find Conner selling shirts and merchandise when he isn’t working on the car with dad Shannon, a Cup Series veteran fabricator.
He is also active on social media in the hopes of attracting support.
"The biggest challenge is just making potential sponsors know who we are and what we do," Conner said. "Explaining what a Super Late Model is. Making the Derby was huge because we can show everyone these packed grandstands and how excited everyone was.
"At the same time, it’s 5-10 grand to race each weekend depending on how far we want to go."
To get better, Conner knows his team needs to get consistent seat time and he wants that seat time against the best in the Southern Super Series. He wants the tiger stripes to become a mainstay of the southern Super Late Model tour.
"Kids love it," Conner said. "We’ve made a lot of fans because of that paint scheme and we want to get it to as many races as possible. We’ve created like a community around it. Overall, we just need to race more, and we’re looking for all the help we can to get us there."
And if his history is any indication, Conner will work his butt off to create return on investment, too.