Polesitter Connor Zilisch’s Victory Bid Is Ended Early; TA2 Rookie Ben Maier Scores His Second Top-10 of the Season


Date: June 3, 2023

Event: Detroit Grand Prix (Round 5 of 13)

Series: Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli

Division: Big Machine Vodka Spiked Coolers TA2 Series

Location: Streets of Downtown Detroit

Layout: 1.7-mile, nine-turn temporary street circuit

Format: 60 minutes

Weather: Sunny, low 80s

Winner: Brent Crews of Nitro Motorsports

Silver Hare Racing:

  • Ben Maier – Started 13th, Finished 10th (Running, completed 39/39 laps)
  • Connor Zilisch – Started 1st, Finished 24th (Accident, completed 33/39 laps)


  • Connor Zilisch earned the pole for the second time in his TA2 career and for the first time this season. His previous pole came by virtue of a track-record lap in his very first TA2 race in October 2021 at Virginia International Raceway in Alton. Zilisch led the first 11 laps of today’s event and earned the Omologato Fast Lap of the Race award. By virtue of that fast lap, he’ll once again start on the pole for Sunday’s Race No. 2.
  • TA2 rookie Ben Maier’s qualifying effort of 13th this morning was his best in five races this season. His finish marks his second top-10 in five races this season.

Ben Maier, Driver, No. 75 Gel Blaster/Silver Hare Racing Chevrolet Camaro:

“It was a pretty chaotic race. It was a game of survival trying to keep it alive and stay out of trouble. I qualified 13th, which is the best I’ve done so far so, pretty good there. I made up a few positions in the race, lost a few, but overall made up a few. It was definitely chaotic, but it was fun and we still have tomorrow to make it even further toward the front. It’s going to be pretty crazy because today everyone was saving their cars for tomorrow. Tomorrow, we’ll just have to be cool and smooth like we have been all year.”

Connor Zilisch, Driver, No. 7 Silver Hare Racing Chevrolet Camaro:

“That was a frustrating way to end our first race here at Detroit. Thankfully, we have a second race tomorrow and we’ll start from the pole again in that one. We were leading by a good bit, faster than the entire field at the beginning of the race, and then the caution came out. We restarted from the front again and, the only time they were close to me, they tried making a move and, unfortunately, it led to the end of our race early. I was able to keep going afterward but damage and other issues just kept us from finishing. It’s just unfortunate that we ended the race in that fashion, but that’s how it went. We work really hard and put a lot of time and effort into bringing fast cars to the track and we definitely had the fastest one today. Just unfortunate that stuff that was out of our hands took us out of it.  We’ll move on to tomorrow and start from the front with a clean slate, a clean mindset and try to get ourselves our second win of the year. We’ve been close. Obviously, that hurt our championship battle, as well, so we’ll have to fight back and keep getting consistent finishes. We have the best team around us and a lot more opportunities to get good finishes. Just have to keep our heads down and move on to tomorrow.”

Maurice Hull, Co-Owner, Silver Hare Racing:

“It was a great day in that Connor qualified on the pole for the first time for Silver Hare Racing, and Ben just kept doing what he’s been doing all year and came away with his best qualifying effort of the season and his second top-10 in the race. He drove a clean race today amidst all the chaos, that’s for sure. I’m so proud of this team for bringing fast cars to the racetrack time and time again. It was just unfortunate for Connor that his shot at the win today ended the way it did. It certainly wasn’t his fault. But we’ll work on bringing another couple of fast racecars into Sunday’s race and hopefully end up with the kind of finish this team deserves for all the hard work they put in.”

Next Up

Round six of the 2023 Big Machine Vodka Spiked Coolers TA2 Series brings Silver Hare Racing back Sunday for the second half of this year’s Detroit Grand Prix doubleheader on the downtown streets of the Motor City. TA2 Race No. 2 on the 1.7-mile, nine-turn temporary street circuit, scheduled for 75 minutes in duration, begins at 11 a.m. EDT and will be live streamed via the Trans Am Series and SpeedTourTV channels on YouTube, with a delayed re-broadcast on MAVTV set for 8 p.m. EDT on Thursday, June 8.