Arca Kansas winner celebrating in victory lane

Connor Mosack denies Tanner Gray, scores repeat victory at Kansas Speedway

KANSAS CITY, Kansas — The scenario that played out at the end of Saturday’s Tide 150 at Kansas Speedway was an all too familiar one for Joe Gibbs Racing.

A dominant performance by Tanner Gray aboard the No. 18 Toyota came undone in the closing laps due to a late charge from a Pinnacle Racing Group driver. Connor Mosack played the role of spoiler this week, as he chased down and passed Gray to bring home his second consecutive win at Kansas.

Mosack, who drove a JGR Toyota to Victory Lane at Kansas last fall, felt immense pride in seeing the diligent work of PRG pay off by outrunning one of the best programs across the ARCA Menards Series platform.

“Being able to [win] back-to-back with two different teams and to [get this win] with the family team means a lot,” Mosack said. “I see how hard the guys work on Sundays. They are always there and it’s awesome to see. I’m so proud of this group and it’s awesome to get another one here.”

Despite existing for less than two years, PRG has developed a habit for delivering victories in thrilling fashion at the expense of JGR.

On two separate occasions in 2023, Luke Fenhaus found himself chasing JGR development driver William Sawalich all evening only to catch a break with a late-race caution. Fenhaus bested Sawalich with a great launch on the restart to steal at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway and Iowa Speedway last year.

PRG and JGR were  once again battling each other during the preceding General Tire 150 at Dover Motor Speedway. Sawalich appeared to have his first Dover victory secured until contact with Connor Zilisch sent him into the outside wall, ending his day while Zilisch celebrated with PRG in Victory Lane.

The fight for the win between PRG and JGR at Kansas came down to a battle of offense and defense. Gray enjoyed facing no competition for the lead during the first 75 laps of the Tide 150, but a late caution enabled Mosack to mount a charge.

With Gray’s car tightening up, Mosack could roll the center more efficiently through the turns and rapidly erase his deficit. Mosack easily pulled alongside and past Gray down the backstretch with 13 laps remaining and maintained control of the lead until the checkered flag waved.

A victory for Gray would have allowed him to join his brother Taylor as the sixth set of brothers to win in the premier ARCA Menards Series. Instead, Gray was left to ponder what he could have done differently to fend off Mosack for the victory.

“I just made a bad lane decision and let [Mosack] get to us,” Gray said. “Once he was by us, I was too tight to get back to him. I’m kicking myself even more because I felt like the bottom had started to come back in [turns] three and four, but I never really got an opportunity to get down there and run it.”

For Mosack, Saturday’s victory continued a consistent streak of strong runs across his limited ARCA appearances.

In six starts with JGR last year, Mosack never finished outside the top 10 and scored three additional top fives to accompany his maiden ARCA win. That consistency carried over into the current year, as he placed fourth at Phoenix Raceway in his first start with PRG.

Mosack obtained plenty of valuable knowledge Saturday that he’ll attempt to utilize during Saturday evening’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race as a driver for Spire Motorsports.

“I learned how to make speed while free,” Mosack said. “We got pretty tight there during the second half of the first run and fell back. I figured out what the car needed to be fast when it’s tight like that.”

Dean Thompson finished third Saturday afternoon, followed by Venturini Motorsports teammates Kris Wright and Jake Finch. Andy Jankowiak, Andres Perez, Amber Balcaen, Marco Andretti and Toni Breidinger rounded out the top 10.

Following three straight weekends of racing, the ARCA Menards Series competitors will get a brief reprieve before hitting the track again. The next event up is the General Tire 150 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, which takes place on May 24 and airs live on FS1 at 6 p.m. ET.

The next ARCA platform event on the schedule is the annual running of the Music City 150 for the ARCA Menards Series East at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway on Saturday, May 11. The green flag will wave at 8:30 p.m. CT / 9:30 p.m. ET on FloRacing.