Connor Zilisch claims pole at COTA in Truck Series debut

Connor Zilisch won the Pole Award Friday afternoon at Circuit of the Americas in his NASCAR Truck Series debut. He topped the speed chart in the No. 7 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet with a fast lap at 93.012 mph in 131.983 seconds and he also set a track record average lap speed of 92.941 mph.

“It’s truly a testament to all the people around me,” Zilisch said after qualifying. “This Spire Motorsports team, (crew chief) Brian Pattie, everybody back at the shop, killer, killer job. This thing was basically driving itself. I don’t even want to take any of the credit for it. It’s awesome to come here in my first race and be on the pole. Thank you to everybody who supported me along the way. It’s super cool to have Austin Hatcher Foundation on the truck.”

He concluded by saying, “It’s an honor to be on the pole in my first race but we still have a lot of work to do tomorrow.”

The pole is one of several highlights this year for the seventeen-year-old beginning with the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway in January where he won a LMP2 class victory in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. He also scored a class win in the 12 Hours of Sebring one week ago.

Corey Heim will start beside Zilisch on the front row after posting a qualifying lap of 92.512 mph in the No. 11 TRICON Garage entry. Heim’s teammate, Taylor Gray, will start third in the No. 17 Chevrolet followed by Nick Sanchez in the No. 2 Rev Racing Chevrolet. Ross Chastain will round out the top five in the No. 45 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet.

Jack Hawksworth, Tanner Gray, Layne Riggs, Ty Majeski and Christian Eckes completed the top-10 fastest drivers in the qualifying session.

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series XPEL 225 will be broadcast on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. ET on FS1 with radio coverage provided by MRN and SiriusXM Radio.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Angela Campbell
Angela Campbell
A native of Charlotte, NC, Angela (Angie) was first introduced to racing by her father. An avid fan of NASCAR, she found a way to combine her love of racing with her passion for writing. Angie is also an award-winning member of the National Motorsports Press Association. Follow her on Twitter @angiecampbell_ for the latest NASCAR news and feature stories.


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