CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Connor Mosack just can’t wait to get on the road again.
With a background in road-course racing from 30 career starts in the TA2 division of the Trans Am Series, the 24-year-old racer has had the Henry 180 NASCAR Xfinity Series race Saturday at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, circled on his calendar since before the season began.
Three of those TA2 races have come at Road America, including just three weeks ago when Mosack sampled the newly repaved surface spanning the entire 4.048-mile, 14-turn layout.
“There’s more grip in the low-speed corners, and I feel like you can kind of just hustle through those better. But some of the high-speed corners didn’t seem to have a whole lot more grip, and it seemed like there wasn’t quite as much grip off-line, so you had to be a little more disciplined with your line. Those were really the biggest differences,” Mosack said.
“The track was obviously smoother. There weren’t any bumps, which is nice for the driver, but you also like to have the bumps to be able to familiarize yourself with different parts of the track. I’m looking forward to going back there.”
Mosack heads back to “America’s National Park of Speed” with one of the Xfinity Series’ best teams – Joe Gibbs Racing. In his first Xfinity Series start at the track, Mosack will drive No. 19 Porter Pipe & Supply Toyota GR Supra, the same car he used to qualify fourth during the inaugural Chicago Street Race over the Fourth of July weekend and then competed among the top-five before the race was cut short due to weather.
It was yet another strong road-course outing in the Xfinity Series for Mosack, who finished eighth in just his ninth career Xfinity Series start June 3 at Portland (Ore.) International Raceway.
“Chicago was a place where I feel like I never really used all the speed that I had,” Mosack said. “We were conservative in practice and qualifying and even the first part of the race. We wanted to be there in the top-five and keep the car in one piece so we could race for the win. Unfortunately, we had a carburetor issue that forced us to pit early, and then the race was cut short by weather so we never got the chance to claw our way back. But the speed was there, for sure.
:To get back on a road course, especially one that I know really well in Road America, with the same car I had at Chicago – that gives us a lot of confidence.”
Mosack’s confidence turning left and right came from Trans Am. He spent two full seasons (2021-’22) in the series’ TA2 class with TeamSLR, never finishing outside of the top-four in the championship standings while scoring two wins and earning five poles.
“I think the most helpful thing I got from Trans Am, aside from laps on road courses, is just that the top guys in that series are really strong and have years of road-racing experience,” Mosack said.
“Being around those guys made me a much better racer, and it’s certainly helped this year as I’ve gone up against a lot of really experienced drivers in the Xfinity Series.”
Billed as America’s Road-Racing Series, Trans Am and, particularly, its TA2 division, places drivers in purpose-built, tube-frame race cars with handling characteristics similar to cars in the Xfinity Series and ARCA Menards Series.
And with more and more national NASCAR touring series competing on road courses – Road America marks the Xfinity Series’ fifth road-course race of the season – drivers are using TA2 as a platform to sharpen their skills and hone their race craft.
“The cars do have a different feel to them with the weight and the horsepower differences,” said Mosack about the variations between a TA2 car and an Xfinity Series car. “You can definitely hustle the TA2 car a lot harder, and it’s a little bit more forgiving when you make a mistake. You can attack the brake zones more and you can get off and on the throttle a lot harder.
“But I’m still able to approach the races the same way because you’re still using the gas and the brake in similar ways, so I feel like being good in the TA2 car definitely helps in the Xfinity car. It all applies.”