Connor Mosack Scores Top-10 at Charlotte, Finishes Ninth in General Tire 150
Connor Mosack endured an up-and-down day in the General Tire 150 ARCA Menards Series race Friday at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. The Charlotte native wheeled his No. 18 Mobil 1 Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing from his fifth-place starting spot to second on the opening lap. He then took the lead from Jesse Love on lap 20 and paced the field for the next 17 laps. A restart on lap 37 saw Mosack drop to fourth after he spun his tires, so when the caution came out again on lap 40, Mosack took the opportunity to pit for new tires. This put the 24-year-old racer seventh for the restart, and it quickly triggered another caution as those with new tires had to navigate slower racecars on older tires. Greg Van Alst, winner of the ARCA season opener in February at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, was on older tires and slightly sideways as Mosack came upon him in turns three and four. Slight contact was made, sending Van Alst into the wall and out of the race. More restarts negated the benefit of Mosack’s fresh tires. He struggled for traction on restarts and throughout the remainder of the race. Mosack wasn’t alone, as many in the 27-car field were slip-sliding around the 1.5-mile oval. One final spin by another competitor brought out a green-white-checkered finish, with Mosack restarting in ninth and holding that position through the final laps.
Connor Mosack driver of the No. 18 Mobil 1 Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:
“I felt like we still had the most speed of anybody, even when we were in dirty air. I felt like we could run with guys, but we were pretty loose all day even when we were out front – the dirty air would make that worse. Everything was still pretty manageable. I was OK when the caution came out and thought we were going to be in good shape. It seemed like the bottom had restarted better to where you could get a good launch – I felt like I cleaned my tires off good, but I don’t know if they were still too hot or what, but I just couldn’t go, even with a good push. The 20 (Jesse Love) cleared us and then I restarted really, really loose that run. Thankfully, that was a short run because I think we were going to go backward. We came down and pitted and thought we were going to be pretty good again. We tightened the car up, but it still felt loose. I felt like we were kind of back to the way we were at the beginning of the race and that I could drive our way back to the lead. Some guys stayed out, though, and one of them kind of slid right across our nose and almost put is in the fence in the middle of (turns) three and four and we lost all of our track position. We were, basically, out of contention at that point. Just a frustrating day with what I felt like was the fastest car. My contact with Greg Van Alst was unintentional. I never meant to get into him. He was going a lot slower than I expected and, honestly, I was a little rushed trying to get back to where we had been. It’s so hard when you fall way back on these restarts and then be able to drive back to 'em, so you’ve really got to go. I just wasn’t expecting him to slow down that much going into the corner, and I was actually braking but it was too late and I ended up just clipping him enough to get him out of shape and he, unfortunately, ended up crashing. I hate it for those guys and it definitely wasn’t anything intentional.”
● Mosack’s ninth-place finish marked his 12th top-10 in 16 career ARCA Menards Series starts.
● This was Mosack’s second ARCA start at Charlotte. He finished fourth in last year’s General Tire 150.
● Mosack led once for 17 laps, bringing his ARCA laps-led total at Charlotte to 23.
● This was the third 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 is back in a racecar Saturday at Charlotte, driving the No. 24 Toyota GR Supra for Sam Hunt Racing in the Alsco Uniforms 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race. It marks the beginning of a four-race slate of Xfinity Series races for Mosack, including July 1 at the inaugural Chicago Street Race where he will make his first Xfinity Series start of 2023 with Joe Gibbs Racing. Mosack returns to the ARCA Menards Series July 21 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.
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