Connor Mosack’s superspeedway debut in the ARCA Menards Series proved to be a memorable one. The 23-year-old from Charlotte, North Carolina, won the pole for the Brandt 200 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway with a time of 49.396 seconds at 182.201 mph around the 2.5-mile oval. And when the green flag waved on the 80-lap race, Mosack kept his No. 18 Mobil 1 Toyota Camry from Joe Gibbs Racing out front by leading the first 25 laps.
He pitted on lap 32 and returned to the track in seventh, running among the lead draft until a bump from behind sent Mosack spinning down the backstretch and into the infield grass. With a dirty but undamaged racecar, Mosack headed to pit road to remove the dirt and grass that had accumulated on the grille. Mired all the way back in 31st, Mosack restarted the race on lap 51. But with veteran spotter Tony Hirschman in his ear, Mosack was undaunted. He drove back into the top-10 by lap 66 and was in third place as he took the white flag for the final lap. Unfortunately, time ran out and Mosack couldn’t muster a run on eventual winner Greg Van Alst, who beat Mosack to the stripe by .107 of a second.
Connor Mosack driver of the No. 18 Mobil 1 Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:
“Biggest thing was just listening to my spotter, Tony (Hirschman). He was guiding me through the whole thing and I was really just doing what he was telling me. Definitely was a little worried after we had that spin. It was pretty rough through the grass so I wasn’t sure if we had torn anything up underneath, but our Mobil 1 Toyota Camry was still really fast and we were able to slowly and methodically work our way back to the front. I wish we had one more lap to see if we could’ve made a move, but if we couldn’t win, P2 is about as good as it’s going to get. We got some good points for the owners’ championship going forward.”
● Mosack’s second-place drive in the Brandt 200 equaled his previous best finish in the ARCA Menards Series, earned last year. His Daytona result was, however, Mosack’s best ARCA finish on an oval. Mosack finished second on June 4 at Portland (Ore.) International Raceway (road course) and third on June 11 at Iowa Speedway in Newton (oval).
● Mosack’s 25 laps led in the Brandt 200 were the most among all drivers.
● Mosack’s second-place finish marked his 10th top-10 in 14 career ARCA starts.
● This was the first of six ARCA races where Mosack will drive for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2023. Joe Gibbs Racing won the ARCA owners’ title in 2021 with Ty Gibbs and again last year with Drew Dollar and Sammy Smith splitting driving duties.
Mosack’s next race comes Feb. 26 in the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli. He will drive in the TA2 division for TeamSLR during the series’ season-opening weekend at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway. Mosack is a two-time TA2 race winner and a five-time pole winner. Mosack’s next ARCA start will be May 6 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. In between, Mosack will make four starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series beginning March 11 at Phoenix Raceway as part of his 20-race Xfinity Series schedule with Sam Hunt Racing.