IPS: Watkins Glen: Larry Connor preview

Connor Hopes for a Very Fast Sunday Drive CENTERVILLE, Ohio, Sept. 20 - Welcoming the cooler, crisper air of autumn, many Americans will go on a Sunday drive this weekend. Some of them will even meander out of state. Larry Connor plans to...

Connor Hopes for a Very Fast Sunday Drive

CENTERVILLE, Ohio, Sept. 20 - Welcoming the cooler, crisper air of autumn, many Americans will go on a Sunday drive this weekend. Some of them will even meander out of state.

Larry Connor plans to go on a Sunday drive out of state too, but he won't be looking at the scenery. He won't worry about exceeding the speed limit either, except perhaps on pit road.

The driver from Centerville, Ohio will be concentrating on driving Genoa Racing's No. 36 Dallara as fast as he can because he's entered in Sunday's Corning 100 Menards Infiniti Pro Series race sanctioned by the Indy Racing League at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, N.Y.

Connor is a very accomplished vintage, endurance sports car and formula car driver. It was his road-racing experience in general and his experience at the Glen in particular that made him attractive to Genoa Racing, which signed him up for both this weekend's race and another one earlier this year on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The IMS race in June came to a violent and premature end for the team when another competitor ran into the back of Connor's car during the first practice session, sending the car flipping through the air. Although Connor wasn't hurt the same couldn't be said of the car, and the entry was withdrawn from that event.

Now Connor and everyone else associated with the team hope for much better luck this weekend at the Glen with the car, which is sponsored by The Connor Group.

Connor will be one of 10 Americans in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series race driving 14 Italian-made Dallaras. The other four drivers hail from Brazil, Canada, England and New Zealand.

This is the first Indy Racing League event ever at the Glen, and Connor is excited to be part of it. The IndyCar race follows his race on Sunday, while the Grand American Rolex Series' Crown Royal 250 is the headliner on Saturday. Connor has driven a Grand American Daytona Prototype car in the past too; he was part of the Michael Shank Racing/Mears Motor Coach No. 6 team at this year's Rolex 24 at Daytona along with Mike Borkowski, Duncan Dayton and Paul Mears Jr.

There will be two 30-minute practice sessions for the Menards Infiniti Pro Series on Friday; one at 12:15 p.m. and another at 3:15 p.m. Another half-hour of practice will be held Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. prior to qualifying at 11:45 a.m. On Sunday there's a 15-minute warm-up session at 9 a.m., and then the 20-lap/67.4-mile race will follow at 1:10 p.m. It will use the Glen's historic 11-turn, 3.37-mile long course.

The Infiniti Pro race will be taped for broadcast at 3 p.m. EDT on Thursday, Sept. 29 on ESPN2.

Up-to-date information throughout the weekend can be found on the Internet at indyracing.com and theglen.com. For more information on Connor's sponsor, see theconnorgrp.com.

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