Connor Mosack stood out in Legends racing and made a splash early on in the Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour season but now, the JR Motorsports driver is hoping to get his season back on track at Hickory Motor Speedway after back-to-back races outside the top-five in the series.
The 21-year-old from Charlotte impressed early on in the season when he scored a podium finish at Southern National Motorsports Park. Since then, Mosack has recorded an 11th place finish at Ace Speedway and Hickory Motor Speedway. Despite some recent bad luck, Mosack is confident he will have a good run when the CARS Tour returns to Hickory on Saturday night.
“You know, I think we just have to get the car right,” Mosack told Race22. “We’ve had some good runs in the past couple of weeks. The runs that have been good, we’ve had something break or gotten spun early. The first twin race at Hickory, a couple of weeks ago, we got up to fourth then got wrecked. We’ve had good runs and we’ve had speed, just not as consistently as we’d like to.”
Mosack faced adversity at Ace Speedway after qualifying near the back of the field and dealing with rear-end damage and exhaust issues. Two weeks later, at Hickory, Mosack hoped to rebound but feels he made his move too late.
“In the Ace race, we got in the wall kind of early, just a mistake I made,” Mosack said. “It damaged the rear end pretty good. That screwed our race there and kept us from moving forward. Then we had exhaust fumes get in the car and it was getting tougher to breathe. We were pretty fast the next race at Hickory. I just rode around for too long before we made our run. It was too late to get up as far as we should have, so we learned from that race and can hopefully apply that to this weekend.”
Mosack believes that, in order to rebound, he needs to have better qualifying efforts. In the last two CARS Tour races, Mosack has qualified 23rd and 20th and the need to start toward the front is a point of emphasis for him and JR Motorsports.
“We really need to focus on qualifying well,” Mosack remarked. “I think, if we can start inside the top-10, we’ll have a good chance of finishing upfront. If we start upfront, we can stay up front and race our way forward. It’s tough to come from the back.”
Prior to moving into Late Model Stocks, Mosack was a standout in Legends racing. In 2018, Mosack won a championship at the Summer Shootout in Charlotte and was victorious in Legends Asphalt Nationals in Las Vegas. The following year, he went on to win the Pro Legends championship in the INEX Winter Nationals in Inverness, Florida.
After competing in Late Model Stock Cars last year at Hickory, where he scored seven top-five finishes and 23 top-10 finishes, Mosack joined JR Motorsports and made the leap to the CARS Late Model Stock Tour. Mosack is excited to race in the series against some of the best short track racers in the country.
“I’m happy to be racing with those guys,” Mosack stated. “It’s tough competition so it’s the best place for me to be to continue learning and getting better in these cars. I like racing with the same guys and traveling to different places. There are going to b e tracks I haven’t been to so I’m using this as a learning experience while obviously still trying to run well.”
After Hickory, the series will take on a grueling stretch to venues that will be new to Mosack – including Dominion Raceway, Orange County Speedway, Langley Speedway, Carteret County Speedway, and South Boston Speedway.
“I’m definitely looking forward to going to these places and I think we can figure them out,” Mosack explained. “Hickory’s always been a tough place for me and I feel like we run better at other places. Hopefully, we can find a track that suits me well and, if a track suits us well, we don’t have to work as hard to be fast. At Hickory, we have to work harder to find speed than we do at Southern National or Tri-County.”
While he does spend time in a simulator, though not as much as he would like to, he will have to rely more on-track time with upcoming farther away venues such as Carteret County Speedway and Dominion Raceway which are not available on either iRacing or the archaic NASCAR Racing 2003 simulator.
“We might go and test but they’re pretty far away, those two tracks, compared to the other ones,” Mosack commented. “We may not go there just to test but I think we might go there the race before to get some experience beforehand. I’m sure, somehow, we’ll get some experience before the race.”
Mosack leans on teammate Josh Berry as he learns his way around new venues – whether it be at the track when Berry races alongside him or in the shop during the week.
“I just use his knowledge of the track and watching how he goes in the corner and learning his specific line and getting feedback from him when he’s behind me in practice and things like that,” Mosack elaborated. “I’ll still be able to talk to Josh [when he’s not racing] and I’m sure he’ll be at the races if he’s not racing or in the shop the week before. That would be a good time to run things by him if he’s not going to be at the track that weekend. The other thing he helps with is having good setups to run specific lines which will be helpful for us.”
Berry, for his part, has had good things to say about the CARS Tour rookie.
“I really like Connor,” Berry said in an interview with Short Track Scene earlier this year, comments he has echoed recently. “He’s a little older, we’re a little closer in age, and that makes it easier to talk.”
This weekend, with Josh Berry not running the event, Mosack will run in car no. 88, a backup car after an accident at Hickory Motor Speedway last weekend. He is chasing his first Late Model Stock Car victory and his first win in the CARS Tour. Along with the CARS Tour, JR Motorsports plans to race with Mosack in other marquee races later this season, assuming those events take place amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Mosack follows in the footsteps of other JR Motorsports drivers such as William Byron, Christian Eckes, and Anthony Alfredo who have all gone on to have success in ARCA and NASCAR.