Connor Mosack ready for NXS debut in Portland
Portland seems like the perfect place to make your Xfinity Series debut – it’s a road course and that plays into your Trans Am experience; there are no pit stops, so one less thing to learn on the fly; and it’s a stand-alone event, so no NASCAR Cup Series drivers will be in the field. Were these the factors that led to Portland serving as your first Xfinity Series start?
“For sure. All of those things were things that we thought we were going into, but it ended up being the only one I could do in terms of timing. I think it worked out well and was probably the best I’ve ever had. could have done.
Did you compete in Portland at any point in your career?
“I was able to run a stock Late Model car there, obviously set up for a road course, but it rained the whole time I was there. We had old rain tires, but it was really slippery. Still, I got to see the place in person, and if it rains while we’re there for the Xfinity race, I feel like I’ll have a little advantage.
As a TA2 rookie in 2021, all but two of the 10 tracks in the series were new to you. What did you do to learn these tracks before arriving for the race?
“I think simulator time is really important for a new road course. Learning the corners and at least knowing the place 80-90% of the way before you get there really helps to speed up the learning curve. J feel like if you see it for the first time you really lose the first session you’re there because you’re not working on any gear, you’re just trying to figure out where to put the car. So you know to come in and watch videos in the car, even if it’s a different kind of car from there – I got to watch some of the TA2 races there and I think it’s really useful to know the best lines and that sort of thing I did the simulator with JGR and did some configuration stuff so I feel like I’m pretty ready to get into it.
Although the Xfinity Series car is new to you, does the car itself feel somewhat familiar due to its similarities to a TA2 car and the ARCA Menards Series cars you’ve driven?
“At the end of the day, you still have the steering wheel, the pedals and the gear lever at your command. You just need to apply these tools a little differently. Adapting to a new car and a new circuit is something I’m used to doing.”
Beyond the obvious fact that Trans Am is a road course-based series, what are some of the key experiences you gained in Trans Am that you think will benefit you in Portland?
“I think the most useful things I’ve gotten from Trans Am, other than the laps on the road courses, is just that the top guys in this series are really strong and have years of racing experience. on road. They’ve trained me many times over the last few races and I’ve been able to learn from each of those things and learn not to repeat those mistakes. It made me a much better runner around those guys, and I think that will correlate with guys who really have experience in the Xfinity Series.
You were mentored at Trans Am by the father-son duo of Scott Lagasse Sr. and Scott Lagasse Jr. What is the best advice they gave you and is there anything specific they have for you said about Portland?
“Scotty and Scott Sr. have been very helpful to me. I certainly wouldn’t be the road runner that I am without them. They both have their own unique ways and experiences that they were able to apply to me, and I think overall they really helped me understand how to put together a whole race, a whole race weekend together, even certain race scenarios, they taught me how to approach them and see those situations happen before they happen, so I’m ready for them. When to be aggressive, when to let them go, those are things I’ve made mistakes on in the past. So whenever things like that happen, they sit with me and say, “Hey, that’s what you did wrong, that’s what you should do,” and that really makes it easier to understand and apply in the future. .
Joe Gibbs Racing is one of NASCAR’s most powerful teams with numerous victories and championships in its more than 30 year history. Talk about the opportunity to make your Xfinity Series debut with this team and the resources that are available to you.
“It’s one of the best road racing cars on the board, so I know the speed will be there and the car will be there. It makes it easier to work on me and not have to worry about what I’m driving. I can just go out there and pick up speed at my own pace knowing the car will be there and not worry about having to squeeze every ounce of speed out of it right away.
Jason Ratcliff is a very experienced team manager, both in terms of preparing winning cars and calling on winning race strategies, but also in developing young drivers. How useful is it to have that experience in your ear now and throughout the Portland race weekend?
“Jason does a great job and he has a ton of experience, so I was able to learn from him already, even before I hit the track. Even in the simulator, we made some big changes, so I really looking forward to working with him and the rest of these guys.
You’ve only been racing for six years now, but you’ve accomplished a lot in those six years. Did the 18-year-old think you would one day drive an Xfinity Series car for Joe Gibbs Racing?
“Absolutely not. The first year I drove something, it was really blurry and I really didn’t know anything. The second year we started to figure things out and figure out where we could go and what it would take We’ve kind of built on that ever since.
You seem to be constantly challenging and pushing yourself – from late-model Legends cars to TA2 cars to ARCA and now, the Xfinity series. Where does this reader come from?
“Growing up I always loved cars – race cars, street cars – but I never really thought racing was something realistic for me. I didn’t know anyone in the sport and no one in my family had never raced. I didn’t know that anyone could just show up at a local racetrack and rent someone’s car, or buy their own race car and go over there and race it so when it was introduced to me, I thought it was really cool, and I got to taste it a bit, and that’s when I really fell in love with it. kind of knew it was an option, we decided to pursue it to see where it might go.
Portland means balancing your competitiveness with your desire to learn. What do you want to take away from the race weekend and what do you consider a successful outing?
“As it’s my first race, I think the success would be to run all the laps and be in the top 10 for most of the race. But I think the main objective is to keep the car on track. the track and not do anything too aggressive or try to overdrive the car especially on my first race just to pick up speed I think the plan is to stay in the race until the end , and if we have a chance, we’ll go for it.