Connor Zilisch, a 17-year-old rising star who has impressed across several different disciplines of motorsports, has signed a multi-year driver agreement for Trackhouse Racing, the NASCAR Cup Series team announced on Thursday.
A native of Mooresville, North Carolina, Zilisch will begin a development program with the organization that includes select runs in the CARS Late Model Tour, ARCA Menards Series, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, and NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Zilisch, who turns 18 years old in July, will also compete in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship events, including the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona International Speedway on January 26.
“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 a few months ago,” said Trackhouse founder and owner, Justin Marks. “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.”
After ten years of competitive kart racing, including a stint in Europe as an 11-year-old driver, Zilisch acquired the tools that allowed him to adapt quickly when moving to compete professionally on road courses in 2021.
Competing in the Mazda MX-5 Series, Zilisch finished second in points and claimed Rookie of The Year honors in 2022, before going on to win a total of four events in his 10 starts this past year.
The 2023 racing season also included forays into several different divisions for the 17-year-old driver, including TransAm TA, TransAm TA2, CARS Tour, and the ARCA Menards Series, all of which fostered some impressive results.
In October, Zilisch collected victories in the TransAm TA2 and TA classes at Virginia International Raceway, becoming the first driver to win multiple classes in a single weekend — and the youngest driver to win a TA class event, period.
Zilisch has also impressed on the short track scene, as well, winning the CARS Pro Late Model event at Ace Speedway for Rackley W.A.R. in May. The driver’s ARCA Menards Series debut came at Watkins Glen in August, where he led 34 of 42 laps and finished second place to Jesse Love.
“This is a dream come true,” said Zilisch. “I can’t thank Justin (Marks) 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.”
Further details, including a complete schedule for Zilisch in all of the series he’ll compete in for the next two seasons, will be announced by Trackhouse Racing at a later date.