Connor Mosack and Jack Wood Ready for TA2 Race at Brainerd
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (July 15, 2021) – Fresh off a win July 3 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, TeamSLR heads to the next race on the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli schedule this Sunday at Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway intent on securing a second straight TA2 victory.
It was Sam Mayer who delivered the win to TeamSLR at Road America with his teammate, Connor Mosack, right in his tire tracks for the majority of the 25-lap race around the 4.048-mile, 14-turn road course. Mosack started fourth and grabbed third place on the first lap and then took second on lap eight. The 22-year-old from Charlotte, North Carolina, stayed there until three laps from the finish when a spin on the penultimate corner thwarted his strong drive.
Mosack aims to take that speed to Brainerd, where he tested last week in preparation for Sunday’s race on the 2.5-mile, 13-turn road course located 130 miles northwest of Minneapolis. It marked one of the rare instances this season where Mosack has been able to sample a track before racing there, as 2021 is his first full season of TA2 competition, meaning that Mosack is seeing most of the tracks on this year’s calendar for the first time.
Mosack will be joined at Brainerd by a true first-timer in 20-year-old Jack Wood, who is looking to burnish his racing resume with some road-course experience via the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli.
Wood is a fulltime driver in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series who made his debut in that division on May 22 at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas. Wood described the road-course race as an “eye-opener” as his only prior road-course experience came in go-karts and in a lone NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway in 2019. The Loomis, California-native’s next Truck Series race takes place on a road course – Aug. 7 at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International – making this weekend’s TA2 experience at Brainerd all the more valuable.
Mosack and Wood will be coached by the father-and-son duo of Scott Lagasse and Scott Lagasse, Jr. They have combined to win more than 100 races and seven championships across a variety of series and styles of racecars, from paved ovals to road courses to dirt tracks.
It’s all a part of TeamSLR’s comprehensive driver development program, which includes car-building capabilities. TeamSLR is the exclusive representative of M1 Racecars, an official TA2 constructor. It builds rolling chassis and complete Chevrolet Camaros, Ford Mustangs and Dodge Challengers for Trans Am competition.
Mosack and Wood will wheel their M1 Racecars-built Chevrolet Camaros around Brainerd in the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli’s 30th visit to the storied track where the legendary Parnelli Jones scored the first win back in 1969.
Connor Mosack, driver No. 28 Nic Tailor Custom Fit Underwear/Interstate Foam & Supply Chevrolet Camaro:
“We had a really strong run at Road America and it definitely gave us confidence to see the pace we had all weekend. I really think we were the car to beat for most of the race. As a team, we continue to improve in all areas and I’m getting better every race, as well. We’re close to being ready to run up front consistently and get that first win.
“Our test last week at Brainerd went really well, and we’ve improved a lot from where the team was last year. The track is a lot of fun to drive, and I’m excited for the race.
“Turn one is just wide open through the gears, and turn two is where the handling and skill comes in as it’s a challenge to slow just enough to not over-slide the car at high speed and get set up for turn three. That section is a good opportunity to reduce the lap time. The middle section of the track features tight corners followed by short straightaways, until it takes you into the Carousel. The Carousel at Brainerd is a smaller, tighter version of the one we see at Road America. This leads to a high-speed, left-to-right section that is tough to get right, followed by a tight left- and right-hand turn that leads onto the straightaway back to turn one.
“Being able to test at the track beforehand is very helpful to having a lot of speed come race weekend. We were able to test before Mid-Ohio and we had a really strong race there. Now we can head into this weekend already fully up to speed.
“After Road America, I went over to Anderson Speedway for the Redbud 400 (Late Model race). Unfortunately, the race did not go well for us. Two guys got together right in front of me on lap five of 400 and we had nowhere to go. We had a lot of suspension damage and were unable to continue. But, I do think staying active behind the wheel always helps to keep your skills sharp and to continue to stay comfortable behind the wheel, even if there is a slight adjustment going from car to car.”
Jack Wood, driver No. 96 M1 Racecars Chevrolet Camaro:
“My road-racing experience is minimal, which is why I’ve partnered with TeamSLR this weekend at Brainerd. Now, I have raced at Sonoma in a K&N car and then earlier this year at COTA in a Truck. I’ve also raced go-karts on road courses.
“COTA was a tough race. It was a big eye-opener for me and my team. We realized that road racing was something that I needed to focus on and get some seat time in road-course cars.
“While the TA2 car is different, some of the same concepts still apply. Watkins Glen is my next Truck race and that’s a track I’ve never been to before. Seat time on any road course is important, and that’s what I’m doing this weekend so that I can be better prepared for when we get there.
“NASCAR for the longest time has been speedway, superspeedway and short-track racing. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a change in the schedule, which is broadening the schedule to feature more road courses. It’s pulling a lot of drivers from different backgrounds like dirt racing and road racing. You want to make yourself a jack-of-all-trades. You cannot just be one-dimensional anymore. You need to be good in a lot of areas.
“My expectations for this weekend are actually low in terms of finishing positioning. I want to focus on myself, and I want my last lap to be better than my first lap. My biggest thing is showing up and learning. This will not be my last time in a Trans Am car, so I’ll be able to continue to learn for the future.
“I’m excited to work with TeamSLR this weekend. It’s a great group of guys and I know that we will learn a lot this weekend.”
Scott Lagasse, Jr., owner of TeamSLR and driver coach:
“Connor did a really good job at Road America. He learned the track really quickly and was able to run up front all weekend. I believe his performance will carry over to this weekend at Brainerd.
“We tested last week at Brainerd and it went well. It’s always good for a driver to get seat time at a track prior to the race weekend.
“In regard to Jack, we’ll work with him like we do all of our drivers. We’ll study film, data and talk as a team to help get the best out of all of our drivers. This brings the best results.
“The Trans Am Series is a great place for drivers to hone their road-racing skills. We have seen the influx of NASCAR races at road courses over the last few years, so I think it’s really important for drivers to have the knowledge and understanding of road racing. It only makes them more valuable.”