ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (Feb. 22, 2023) – It was a busy Daytona Speedweek for Connor Mosack and Jack Wood. But the young driving prodigies aren’t thinking twice about getting right back in the saddle just days later with a chance to continue honing their road-course race craft. They’ll strap themselves into a pair of M1 Racecars for this weekend’s Sebring SpeedTour at the iconic Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway circuit.
It’s the 2023 season opener for the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli’s newly renamed Big Machine Vodka Spiked Coolers TA2 Series, where Mosack raced in M1 equipment fulltime in 2021 and 2022, netting a pair of wins, eight podium finishes and 14 top-10s in 24 starts, with finishes of third and fourth in the championship, respectively.
That level of consistency helped earn the 24-year-old from Charlotte, North Carolina, a slate of 23 NASCAR Xfinity Series races with Joe Gibbs Racing and Sam Hunt Racing in 2023, along with another six ARCA Menards Series outings with the Gibbs team.
Meanwhile Wood, the 22-year-old from Loomis, California, who began his second fulltime season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at Daytona, returns to M1 equipment for the seventh time in the last three seasons this weekend at Sebring.
Mosack will be behind the wheel of his familiar No. 28 Open Eyes/SLR-M1 Racecars entry while Wood will be strapped into the No. 8 SLR-M1 Racecars entry for Saturday’s 27-lap, 75-minute race around the 3.74-mile, 17-turn Sebring layout. Race time is 12:45 p.m. EST. As with all races this season, it will be streamed live on the Trans Am and SpeedTour channels on YouTube. And Trans Am has a new TV partner this year, MAVTV, which will broadcast TA2 events in a one-hour package set for 8 p.m. ET on the Thursday following each race.
Scott Lagasse Jr., who co-owns TeamSLR, an exclusive supplier of M1 Racecars chassis worldwide, welcomes Mosack and Wood back to the fold for their first cameo appearances of 2023 after feeling particularly proud of their performance in last Saturday’s ARCA season opener at Daytona. Mosack finished second in his Gibbs Toyota while Wood rallied for an eighth-place finish after having to start in the back of the pack. There were stretches during the race that the two were seen working together as drafting partners.
“I was pretty happy to see those two work together,” Lagasse said. “That’s the kind of thing you hope to end up with out of a deal like this, the culture of your drivers coming through your system being about helping each other and making each other better. Really, all the guys who have come through our system have a pretty decent relationship and work together. It’s fun to watch. When you still hear from a Sam Mayer and still hear from a Sammie Smith, and you ask a favor of one of them to help the next young guy coming through and have a conversation with them, and then you see Connor and Jack working together and you know how that relationship grew, for me, it’s pretty neat. And when Connor and Jack want to come back and stay fresh and keep evolving, that’s a huge honor. It’s fun to be a part of and I’m enjoying it.”
With some 40 race weekends on his calendar between his Xfinity Series, ARCA and Late Model commitments, Mosack believes it’s a no-brainer to fill in the available gaps with opportunities to improve.
“Scott Sr., and Jr., both have really invested in me and have really helped me develop as a driver,” said Mosack, whose recent Speedweek also included six nights of racing Late Models at nearby Volusia Speedway. “I certainly wouldn’t be the driver I am today without either one of them, not just from race craft, but off-the-track stuff, as well, and I think that’s really paid off. I’m happy to race with them. They’re a fun group to run with, and obviously it’s paid off in some of the road-course races I’ve done in Xfinity, so far. Hopefully we can continue to build off that for this year.”
Without a TA2 championship on the line, Mosack’s goal for this weekend has become quite simple.
“Our goal going into it is definitely to win – that’s the only reason we’re showing up this time,” he said. “Sebring hasn’t been a great place for us, luck-wise. We blew a tire the first year while running third, and blew an engine last year running third, as well. We’ve had good speed, so hopefully we’ll have good luck and finish the race. And if we do, I know we’ll have a really good shot at it.”
For Wood, who moved to the powerhouse Kyle Busch Motorsports team in the Truck Series this season, this weekend marks his first return trip to a track he’s raced on previously in TA2 in M1 equipment, which he expects will be a huge benefit. He’s also looking forward to his latest opportunity to work with the Lagasse organization.
“The cool thing for me is they’re heavily involved in road racing, but both of them also have heavy NASCAR backgrounds, so they might understand my feedback better than they would a pure road-course guy,” he said. “Racing in TA2 is fun for me because with all the Truck Series stuff being so high-intensity, to go down to a place like Sebring with two guys who just love racing, it makes it fun for me. Everybody has the same goal – you still want to go down there and win and be fast, but it’s just a little bit more laid-back of an environment and definitely not as much pressure, so it’s good for me to have that seat time and that experience. It makes me fall back in love with racing, for sure. And it’s a good confidence-booster to get in a car like that and to be able to find the speed I need to be close to Connor, or as fast as Connor, and I think the Lagasses do a good job of building my confidence behind the wheel, which then goes on and applies to the Truck Series side.”
About M1 Racecars:
M1 is an Official Chassis Supplier to the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli. M1 Racecars are professionally engineered for the Big Machine Spiked Vodka Coolers TA2 Series, SCCA Competition, and Track Day events. We offer chassis only, rolling chassis and complete race-ready builds in Camaro, Mustang, and Challenger body styles. We utilize only the highest quality materials and our race winning technology to produce the most stable and predictable racecar on the track today. The proprietary chassis design by M1 has been CAD-perfected by our engineering staff to ensure that each completed chassis is identical and performs as expected. Our chassis materials are CNC Mandrel bent and cut to our exacting standards, which results in the most precise and cost-effective build. M1 has selected Scott Lagasse Racing to be the exclusive distributor for M1 Racecars worldwide. The race team also provides M1 with vital technical assistance and on-track feedback to support our performance development efforts. This combination is a powerful asset to M1 and to every M1 customer.