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Connor Zilisch Puts NASCAR vs. F1 Comments in Context

Gowtham Ramalingam

Who Is Connor Zilisch, Trackhouse Racing’s Newest Signing?

In a recent interview with Autoweek, 17-year-old Connor Zilisch said that Formula 1 made NASCAR look like the ‘county fair, almost’. What the youngster had referred to with the words was solely the subpar fan experience that NASCAR delivered to its loyalties in comparison to F1. However, the headline of the interview’s repost on X by veteran reporter Adam Stern gave readers the wrong impression, forcing Zilisch to clarify his stand.

Stern’s post carried the title, Connor Zilisch: F1 Makes NASCAR Look Like ‘The County Fair, Almost’ – @AutoweekUSA” While those who read into the interview could’ve seen what the driver meant to say, the blunt title bordered on being clickbait. Zilisch got on his X handle to avoid further confusion. “To clear up the title, I was referring to the hospitality/fan experience, not the racing,” he wrote.

Growing up, Zilisch had been a fan of F1 and wanted to drive in the series. However, conversations with retired icon Kevin Harvick and a situation that prevented him from running in it turned his attention to North American motorsports. He is currently a development driver for Trackhouse Racing and made his Truck Series debut in March.

“I went to an F1 race in 2020, and that made us (NASCAR) look like we were going to the county fair, almost,” he said in the interview with Autoweek. “It was crazy how much money goes into every event in F1. I don’t think it’s really possible to do that for us just because … NASCAR isn’t F1.” Continuing, he mentioned that he was doubtful about whether NASCAR could up its fan experience game to match F1.

Is Connor Zilisch NASCAR’s most promising young driver?

Zilisch turned more than a few heads in March when he raced for Spire Motorsports in COTA. Making his Truck Series debut, he won the pole, finished in 4th place, and garnered high praise from many icons including Kyle Larson and Ross Chastain. The former, in particular, has been incredibly confident in Zilisch’s abilities to break into the top tiers of stock car racing.

The youngster will make his Xfinity Series debut as well in 2024. He will be driving the infamous #88 Chevrolet on September 14 in Watkins Glen International. Post the debut, he will be piloting the car in three more races for the Dale Jr.-owned team.

Post Edited By:Srijan Mandal

About the author

Gowtham Ramalingam

Gowtham Ramalingam

Gowtham is a NASCAR journalist at The Sports Rush. Though his affinity for racing stems from Formula 1, he found himself drawn to NASCAR's unparalleled excitement over the years. As a result he has shared his insights and observations by authoring over 350 articles on the sport. An avid fiction writer, you can find him lost in imaginary worlds when he is not immersed in racing. He hopes to continue savoring the thrill of every lap and race together with his readers for as long as he can.

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