A new Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich® Tires qualifying lap record was set Friday at Road America by Connor Zilisch (No. 72 Hixon Motor Sports). Matthew Dirks (No. 76 McCumbee McAleer Racing) qualified second and NASCAR guest driver Parker Kligerman (No. 75 Thunder Bunny Racing) qualified third.
Zilisch, the latest Mazda MX-5 Cup Shootout winner, is having a busy weekend at Road America. In addition to MX-5 Cup, Zilisch is also running in the Trans-Am Series. Going back and forth between two very different cars has been more of a help than a hindrance for the 15-year-old.
“If they were closer in speed it’d be more difficult, but they’re so different,” Zilisch said. “I’ll go through Turn One and say ‘okay I’m driving this car now’ and after that it’s fine. There’s a lot going on which makes it tricky. I just have to stay focused and stay hydrated. I’ve been really busy today, but I think I’ve kept on top of it pretty well. I think all the track time definitely helps because I know what the track is like every minute of the day.”
Zilisch, who is managed by Kevin Harvick’s KHI Management group, made his mentor proud with a lap of 2:32.347, more than a half-second quicker than the previous qualifying lap record, held by Selin Rollan (No. 87 Hixon Motor Sports).
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