Rookie standout Connor Zilisch (No. 72 Hixon Motor Sports) earned his third Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich® Tires victory of the season in Sunday’s race at VIRginia International Raceway. After a race-long battle with defending champion Gresham Wagner (No. 5 Spark Performance) and defending rookie of the year Sam Paley (No. 28 McCumbee McAleer Racing), Zilisch beat Wagner to the finish line by a half-second.
Zilisch started the 45-minute race alongside polesitter Aidan Fassnacht (No. 15 McCumbee McAleer Racing). The duo held those spots for two laps before the only full-course caution of the race was issued on lap three to retrieve the car of Joey Atanasio (No. 43 Formidable Racing Development) from Turn 10.
When green flag racing resumed, Fassnacht lost the draft and fell down the order, handing the lead to Zilisch.
Much like Saturday’s race, Zilisch and Wagner were nose-to-tail lap after lap and trading the lead as they attempted to break free from the rest of the field. The progress they made came undone when Zilisch made contact with the back of Wagner’s car in Turn One. Both drivers were able to avoid spinning out completely, but Fassnacht and Paley caught the duo and were now part of the lead battle.
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