JR Motorsports Signs 17-year-old Connor Zilisch for 4 NASCAR Xfinity Series Races

Jackson Wheeler
3 Min Read

NASCAR’s next big thing might just be 17-year-old Connor Zilisch, and you can add JR Motorsports to those jumping on the bandwagon.

On Wednesday, JR Motorsports announced that the team has signed Connor Zilisch—the 2024 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona winner and winner of the 2024 Trans Am Series TA2 winner at last month’s season opener at Sebring—to a four-race Xfinity Series deal.

Zilisch will drive the No. 88 Chevrolet in races at Watkins Glen (Sept. 14), Kansas (Sept. 28), Homestead-Miami (Oct. 26) and Phoenix (Nov. 9).

The fact that Zilisch is being set up for a run in the second half of the season is for a pretty good reason. By rule, a driver must be 18 years old to get a NASCAR license. Zilisch turns 18 on July 21.

“We couldn’t be happier to welcome Connor into the JR Motorsports family and to give him an opportunity behind the wheel of our No.88 Chevrolet,” said JRM CEO Kelley Earnhardt Miller. “Connor is an extremely talented young man and we can’t wait to see what he can do when he gets to the track with us at Watkins Glen.”

Zilisch made his debut in the ARCA Menards Series at Watkins Glen in 2023, where he started and finished second. Trackhouse in January of this year signed Zilisch to a development deal.

“It’s a dream come true to have the opportunity to race in the Xfinity Series with JR Motorsports for select races this year,” said Zilisch. “I have a lot to learn considering that I’ve never raced on any big tracks previously, but there’s no better team to learn with than JRM. I can’t thank everyone at Chevrolet, Silver Hare Racing, and Trackhouse Racing for helping me get to this point, and continuing to support me into my future.

“I look forward to giving my all and making the most of this opportunity.”

Headshot of Mike Pryson

Mike Pryson covered auto racing for the Jackson (Mich.) Citizen Patriot and MLive Media Group from 1991 until joining Autoweek in 2011. He won several Michigan Associated Press and national Associated Press Sports Editors awards for auto racing coverage and was named the 2000 Michigan Auto Racing Fan Club’s Michigan Motorsports Writer of the Year. A Michigan native, Mike spent three years after college working in southwest Florida before realizing that the land of Disney and endless summer was no match for the challenge of freezing rain, potholes and long, cold winters in the Motor City.

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Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at Speedofdaily.com, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
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