Re - Release of Dangerous Curves August 29 on Amazon!

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Former track promoter Shand Tilman (in an ABC 20/20 interview) for the famed Riverside International Speedway stated that Terri O' was in the top 5 best racers he has ever seen race ... that's saying something since all the greats in Sprint Cars like all the Swindells, The Kinsers, the Stinhouse's and the Hoods among most the great Outlaws have race at the famed speedway in front of Mr Tilman ... Go Terri O'!


Born two monthes premature ...two months after leaving the hospital, Terri was sleeping in her moms arms while her dad raced in Birmingham, Alabama, and has been going to race tracks ever since that fateful night in Birmingham. Terri O'Connell is a racer through and through and her extensive and successful driving record competing against Americas best proves she one of the best racers America has seen!


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100 Miles Per Hour Race Karts

Dad bought Terri first yard Kart at five years of age
By the age of Seven Terri started racing Race Karts (Rookie& Junior) in the Corinth area . . . Teri won her first real race.
Won her first IKF Mississippi State Championship in 1972 and won it again over the next three years.
Won Tennessee IKF State Championship in 1974 and repeated again in 75 through 78.
Won Region IKF Region 2 (South Eastern US) Championship 75-76
Qualified 3rd and finished 6th in the 1974 IKF National Championships
Finished 5th at the 1975 IKF National Championships
Finished 2nd at 1975 and 1978 IKF Winter Nationals
Finished 2nd at the 1976 IKF Spring Nationals
Won the 1976-77 WKA National Championships (Set new track record)
Won the 1977 -78 IKF Winter Nationals
Finished 3rd at the 1978 WKA Winter Nationals
Won over 150 Kart races from 1971 – 1979 against the Nations best Karters, many who have gone on to be top NASCAR and Indy Car drivers.
She also won all of her Karting events maintaining her on Karts and engine.

 

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At seventeen Terri broke leg and hip in Midget accident in Astro Dome – 1980
Designed and built new racer while recovering from accident
Set new world track record at 1980 Midget Nationals (won trophy dash)
Won Midget Winter Nationals in 1980
Won Mid South Championships (five states) – 1980
Won 100 lap Indoor Championships -1980
Set fast time and finished 4th at 1982 Nationals after an engine failure.
Won 100 lap Pro Championships -1982
Designed and built new cutting edge midget – 1991
Set fast time at 91 Nationals and finished 2nd
Won Winter Nationals – 1991
Won Region 2 National -1993
Won indoor Championships – 91 – 92 – 93
Won over 200 midget races through out her career against the best in the United States
She also won all of her Midget events in cars she designed and built herself

 

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Started professional Sprint Car career in 1983
Won 5 events that rookie year in an out dated under financed race car
1984 won 7 events and made decision to start own Sprint Car Team
1985 Terri won over 21 events, set new track records at three tracks and made the front page of the National Speed Sport News
1986 Terri, a twenty four three old throttle jockey traveled to California, won over 21 races, set two new track records
1986 Terri won the Coors Light Shoot out Sprint Car Nationals
Ran her first Dirt Champ Car event in Springfield Illinois
1987 Terri continued to race in California ... she won 17 more times and looked toward NASCAR for the next season
Terri made the move to North Carolina in 1988 to go after her NASCAR dreams, she continued to race sprint cars part time winning 15 times
In 1989 Terri returned to California, setting ten fast times, winning 18 events and then returned back to the mid South to look toward NASCAR once more.
She won 11 more Sprint Car events in the Mid South in 1989
In 1990 – 92 Terri raced Sprint Cars in the Mid West and through out the South while continuing her NASCAR quest. She won over 30 events during the 1990 and 92 seasons


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Terri re started her iconic Sprint Car career in 2012 @ the famed Knoxville Raceway and through out the Mid West ... she won two races, inked six top fives and set two fast qualifying times during the season proving she still had what it takes to win in the ultra fast Sprint Cars.


All told Terri O’ logged over 152 Sprint Car win from 1983 through the 2014 season, proving that she was one of the nations best.

 

Terri is known as a quick and smooth driver but one with the ability to get aggressive when she needs to. She is an excellent qualifier, has set many track records and fast time over 100 times through out her Sprint Car career.

 

Through out her Sprint Car Career Terri landed top sponsors like Coors Light, Bud Light, Part Plus Auto Stores, and Valvoline proving she was not only talented, but appealing to fans and corporate America.


From Racing Journalist ... 1/17/16

Ron Lingron

7 hrs ·

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Day 6/10 - a snapshot out of a Petaluma Speedway video showing all at once, history, change and fashion. This is July 26, 1987, and would be my 17th birthday and again I was in the stands for this show.  
 This photo comes post Trophy Dash and the winner here was one of the invaders from out of state that didn't necessarily follow a point chase anywhere and were pretty much the lone remaining true outlaws of the sport who flew into California and spiced things up for a few months before heading back home. First, I must point out the fashion statement being made by one Bobby Gerould, now a friend of mine, but back then was just another guy doing what I longed to do, talk about sprint cars on a microphone. The unzipped white jacket, pegged pants most likely using safety pins, white high tops and a flashy mullet made quite the splash on the infield, contrasting nicely with the black adobe. The sprint car eating berm has teeth showing, daring anyone to come close to it. The track early on is typical greasy which would tighten up as the night wore on. The Al Leist #88 this night was piloted by former national go kart champion before outlaw karts were all the rage, and a guy who would turn racing on its ear and lead to more question marks behind the scenes whispers than most anyone in sprint car history. Also later on after this picture, this driver would race at Rockingham with the Winston Cup Series, his only cup of coffee with NASCAR's highest level. Twenty Three year old JT Hayes came out here out of Memphis, TN and immediately laid down a new track record qualifying attempt in the Lovell Bros. ‪#‎71n‬ at Silver Dollar and going on to win both for Lovel and for Challenger on other occasions, and put people on notice there was a new shoe in town. He ended up driving for owners Lovell, Lathrop, Bellotti, Consani, Chinen, Snow and Liest and won for all of them as far as I can remember. Plus, looking back on his qualifying records, he had multiple quick times at virtually every track in Central California including Santa Maria. Here, Hayes has won the Trophy Dash and would run second later to someone named Sills, a member of the Sprint Car Hall of Fame. Even Jeff Gordon was flown in to run this race, so History was in the making through out the field. Hayes wasn't finished making headlines, however and, stood the racing world on its ear decades before Bruce Jenner half assed it, by undergoing gender re-assignment - corrective surgery surrounding her Disorders of Sexual Development - Intersex (UNLIKE JENNER, TERRI ISNOT TRANSGENDER) and becoming Terri O'Connell, disappearing from the sprint car landscape and going down in California history as one of the ones, one of the true bad asses, while he was out here and one with a much bigger story to tell post-California. Terri continues to live on the East Coast and races back there from time to time. I'm sure I saw her at Knoxville in a 305 at the 2012 Nationals. Her story is told in her book, Dangerous Curves. It's been nearly 30 years since JT Hayes splashed across the California landscape, but damn, what a splash it was.


 

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Terri Made her NASCAR sprint Cup debut in 1990, the young twenty six year old racer qualified well and ran good until her car failed causing her to fall out of the event early on. (this was ten years before the youth movement in NASCAR, at the time Terri was considered to be very young to be competing at the Cup level) She got high marks and endorsements from NASCAR’s Hall of Famers and its superstars, including Hall of famers Dale Inman, Richard Petty, Chris Economaki, Darrell Waltrip, an her good friend Lake Speed and team owner, the renowned Junnie Donlevey.
She inked top level sponsors like Valvoline, Parts Plus Auto Stores, Ford and a few Hollywood celebs in the likes of Don Johnson helping out
 
Over the years Terri has run several different types of race cars including Modifieds, Late Models and Sports Cars.
 

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From 1994 to 2014 Terri O’ competed in thirty Dirt and asphalt modified events throughout the Mid South and California racking up ten wins. She ran two Modified events in the early nineties for Bob Consani based in Santa Rosa, California, Terri also drove Mr. Consani’s Sprint Car twice, winning once and just recently in 2014 has been racing Southern Modifieds on the East Coast with one win and two fast times.
 

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When ever she could, she always jumped at the opportunity to compete in a Late Model race, even though her first love was Sprint Cars, the Late Models took on a new challenge for her. From 1998 on through to 2010 she ran just over thirty Late Model events in the Mid South, racking up eight more wins for her versatile driving career.
 

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Actually Terri O’s road racing skills could be her forte’ … Her dad always said she had missed her calling by not perusing Indy Cars and Road Racing … her Karting National Championships were won on Sprint Kart Tracks where you did the right and left turn stuff … she was always fast and beat the likes of Scott Pruitt and Scott Goodyear at national events. Over the years she’s had the opportunity to test for World Champion Dick Barbour Racing and Intersport Racing and always was very quick, earning endorsements from both Barbour and Intersport. She is currently putting together an effort for the 2016 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring through Rev X Motorventures!
 
 

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Terri took her amazing racing career one step farther in 2002 when she competed in the world famous cross country road rally “The Cannon Ball Run”, finishing first in her class and generating millions of dollars in media exposure for her sponsors Volkswagen, Candies Shoes and The Fashion Café. Terri’s life story has played all around the world with profiles on 20/20 ABC, Entertainment Tonight, Larry King, The Bio Channel, The New York Times, People, Newsweek, Time, George, and most news shows. She has worked as a model throughout the South East, has a public speaking tour and a nationally recognized graphic design and apparel company. She pinned her top selling memoir Dangerous Curves in December 2009 and will be re releasing the revised memoir in October 2015  along with  the eBook version of this heart felt and compelling memoir.


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In 2000 she restarted her Midget and Sprint Car racing by competing and continuing to win in Midget and Sprint Car events throughout the Mid South and Mid west and has competed in these events periodically since then.

 

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In late 2013 Terri tested a NASCAR Sprint Cup Car at Memphis Motorsports Park turning fast laps as well as a super late model at Hickory Speedway and in 2014 she made fast laps at the famed Langley Speedway by turning in fastest lap while testing a NASCAR K&N East car proving one again, she is a world class driver whose talents have only been enhanced through the years.


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As Langley Speedway promoter Chuck Hall stated after watching her test a stock car at his speedway in October. “She was not only fast as lighting, but very smooth and consistent … she ran the perfect line around this very difficult track. She had never turned one lap here and was immediately fast in the stock car … pretty damn impressive! She will be able to do what ever she wants in NASCAR.”



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Today in her prime, Terri O’s 2012 – 2013 racing efforts picked up speed with her competing with the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars and the weekly 410 and 305 racing series at the famed Knoxville Raceway, in Knoxville, Iowa the world capital of Sprint Car racing (For Team owner Scott Galpin - Knoxville, Iowa and Kustom Sprint Car Supplies / Tom Madden Racing of Newton, Iowa). In the midst of her historic resurgence, she logged 2 wins  in the Mid South and two quick times during the 2013 Midwest season proving once again (after not racing Sprint Cars for over ten years), she has world class talent. She currently has plans to compete with international efforts in the TUDOR Sports Car Series for MV Global Ventures in 2015 as well as extensive efforts in NASCAR Nationwide Series and the ARCA  in 2014 and 2015. She has her eyes on running in the 2016 24 Hours of Daytona and an historic all femeale deiving effort and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Terri O’ has talent, experience and determination to win at the top levels of the sport and cant wait to continue with her international efforts and goals!


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Check out Terri O's many current and vintage racing photos and news paper articles about her career in the DC Images Gallery!

 

Source: Speed Sport News, ESPN, Race Stats, New York Times, Karter News, People, 20/20 ABC, The Bio Channel, Entertainment Tonight


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