Connor Zilisch, a rising racing talent at 17 years old, has signed a multi-year agreement with Trackhouse Racing, the team announced Thursday.
Zilisch has extensive racing experience in Trans Am and karting and now begins the path toward stock-car racing development. As part of the agreement, Zilisch’s development program will include select CARS Tour, ARCA Menards Series, Trans Am and IMSA races as well as NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and Xfinity Series starts in 2024 and 2025, according to the press release.
“This is a dream come true,” Zilisch said in the release. “I can’t thank Justin (Marks, team founder and owner) and everyone at Trackhouse Racing enough for giving me this opportunity. It has been a pleasure to spend the last two years racing with Chevrolet and I am thrilled to extend that relationship. I have a lot to learn, but I don’t think there is a better place for me to learn than with Trackhouse Racing.”
Road courses are where Zilisch has typically shined, thanks in part to 10 years spent karting, including a European stint at just 11 years old, according to the release. That expertise at a young age propelled him to the top prize of the Mazda MX-5 Cup scholarship in 2021, winning 2022 Rookie of the Year honors along with a runner-up showing in standings before winning four races a season ago.
The Mooresville, North Carolina native made his ARCA debut at Watkins Glen International in 2023, starting second and leading 34 of 42 laps before eventual series champion Jesse Love passed Zilisch for the lead in the final corner in wet conditions.
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“I have watched Connor grow from a youngster racing go-karts at the Trackhouse Motorplex to an up-close seat as he beat all of us in the Trans-Am race at VIR (Virginia International Raceway) a few months ago,” Marks said in the release. “This kid is an amazing talent who we wanted to be a part of the Trackhouse family. We are going to go slow with Connor and make sure he’s fully prepared as he advances in what we believe will be a long racing career.”
Zilisch’s season is slated to get underway on Jan. 26 with the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. In Trans Am action, Zilisch won five of 13 starts in TA2. The dominant performance he had at VIR against Marks and others marked Zilisch the youngest driver to win a Trans Am race in his first start in the class as well as the first to win races in two different classes in the same weekend.
Additionally, Zilisch was victorious in the CARS Pro Late Model Tour race at Ace Speedway back in May while driving for Rackley W.A.R. Racing. Marks, along with former NASCAR Cup Series stars Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Burton and Kevin Harvick, co-owns the CARS Tour.