Connor Mosack’s racing career began six years ago at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and this Memorial Day weekend, the 24-year-old returns to pull double duty at his hometown track.
It started with Mosack racing Legend Cars on Charlotte’s quarter-mile oval in 2017. Now he’s racing on the venerable 1.5-mile oval, competing in Friday night’s General Tire 150 ARCA Menards Series race and Saturday’s Alsco Uniforms 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race.
Mosack has packed a lot into a short period of time, bucking the trend of drivers who begin their careers at age four or five in go-karts. He has gone from winning five Legend Car championships to being the 2020 rookie-of-the-year on the CARS Late Model Tour to spending 2021-2022 in the TA2 division of the Trans Am Series, a stint that saw Mosack win twice, earn five poles and never finish outside of the top-four in the championship standings.
While racing in Trans Am, Mosack also competed in eight ARCA races, which set him up for debuts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Truck Series in 2022. This year, he has a six-race ARCA slate with Joe Gibbs Racing, along with a 23-race Xfinity Series schedule – three of which are with Joe Gibbs Racing while the remaining 20 are all with Sam Hunt Racing.
“The first year I ever drove something was really just a blur, and I really didn’t know much,” Mosack said. “Year two, we started to kind of get the hang of things and understand where we could go and what it would take. We’ve been kind of building on that ever since.”
That building process continues Friday at Charlotte, where Mosack will hop back-and-forth between his No. 18 Mobil 1 Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing in ARCA and his No. 24 Toyota GR Supra for Sam Hunt Racing in Xfinity.
“I think each car can help me with the other,” Mosack said. “It’s back-to-back, but you still get time to climb out of each car and kind of talk about what it’s doing and think about it for a little bit, and then you’re able get back in and try to apply it all.
“I’m looking forward to the ARCA race, just getting laps and learning different lines and where to put the car in clean and dirty air, and I think that’ll be pretty applicable with the Xfinity car, as well.”
The General Tire 150 on Friday will be Mosack’s 15th career ARCA start, but only his third with Joe Gibbs Racing. Mosack made his Joe Gibbs Racing debut earlier this year in the ARCA season opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. He promptly put the No. 18 Mobil 1 Toyota on the pole and then led 25 laps en route to a strong second-place finish. In his second ARCA start of the season May 6 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Mosack qualified on the outside of row one before finishing fourth.
While both Charlotte and Kansas are 1.5-mile ovals and are considered intermediate-style racetracks, there are differences.
“Kansas is really wide and has sweeping corners. We can actually go wide open, or pretty close to it, in the ARCA car, at least in qualifying,” Mosack said.
“Charlotte has a lot more off-throttle time. It’s narrower and has sharper corners, though it is more banked so you carry more load there. It has different entries, too. The banking comes all at once where, at Kansas, it’s more of a gradual entry and exit in the corners. Charlotte is more difficult because of how it goes from flat to banked and back to flat again, so it’s easy to lose the car both on entry and exit there.”
Despite those differences, getting back on an intermediate track three weeks ago at Kansas was helpful. Prior to that event, Mosack’s previous race on an intermediate track was last July at the 2.5-mile Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.
“Going into Kansas, it had been quite a few months since I’d been in an ARCA car on an intermediate-style track, so it took a little bit of time in the race to get used to how those cars act on the racetrack, particularly in dirty air,” Mosack said.
“It’s quite a bit different than how the Xfinity car is this year. So I think having that experience and being able to get out of the car and review all the notes and go back and watch the race, all the things that I could’ve done differently, that’ll help us for Charlotte. Even though it is a little bit of a different racetrack, the aero capabilities and all that will still apply.”
While still in the early years of his racing career, Mosack does have some experience on Charlotte’s 1.5-mile oval. He finished fourth in last year’s General Tire 150 and participated in a pre-season Xfinity test in January with Sam Hunt Racing.
“That test back in January probably helped me more than it helped the team,” Mosack said. “It was my first time on an intermediate track in an Xfinity car and we were able to have good speed. We were right there with Kaz (Grala) and Tyler (Reddick) when they were in the car. That gave me confidence, and I know what to expect when I go back there. Charlotte is one of the hardest, if not the hardest, intermediate track we go to, so just being able to have laps there is really beneficial.”
A home court advantage is also helpful. Charlotte is home for Mosack. He attended Covenant Day School in Matthews, North Carolina, from K-12 and then went 95 miles north on I-85 to High Point University, graduating in 2021 with a degree in business entrepreneurship.
“Having a lot of friends and family in Charlotte, I don’t feel like it adds any pressure, but it makes you want to do especially well,” Mosack said. “Having everybody there and being able to celebrate with them or have their support before the race, all of that’s really important. It’s also nice to have a good day and be able to just drive 20 or 30 minutes down the road and sleep in your own bed.”
Friday night’s General Tire 150 ARCA Menards Series race gets underway at 6 p.m. EDT. Saturday’s Alsco Uniforms 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race begins at 1 p.m. Live coverage of both will be provided by FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.