Race Weekend Central

Connor Zilisch Wins Pole at COTA in Trucks Debut

In his Craftsman Truck Series debut, Connor Zilisch won the pole on Friday afternoon (March 22) for the XPEL 225 at Circuit of the Americas.

Zilisch’s blistering pace in the No. 7 Spire Motorsports truck gave him the new track record for Trucks with a speed of 93.012 mph.

The 17-year-old makes his Trucks debut after being part of the winning team at the Rolex 24 at Daytona earlier this year and winning the 12 Hours of Sebring one week ago.

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Corey Heim of TRICON Garage will start alongside Zilisch on the front row, posting a speed of 92.512 mph. Heim had the fastest time in group practice.

Heim’s TRICON teammate Taylor Gray will start third alongside Nick Sanchez. The only NASCAR Cup Series regular in the field, Ross Chastain, starts fifth, while Jack Hawksworth will start sixth in the No. 1 TRICON entry.

Tanner Gray, Layne Riggs, Ty Majeski and Christian Eckes make up the rest of the top-10 starters.

Thirty-five trucks attempted the race, so no one failed to qualify.


The XPEL 225 will start at 1:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 23. Coverage will be provided by FOX Sports 1 and MRN.

About the author

James Krause joined Frontstretch in March 2024 as a contributor. Krause was born and raised in Illinois and graduated from Northern Illinois University. He currently works in La Crosse, Wisconsin as a local sports reporter, including short track racing. Krause is a fan of football, auto racing, music, anime and video games.

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