Bristol,Tennessee, May 20 2018- Raphaël Lessard had an excellent afternoon at the mythical Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol (Tennessee). On his second showing at the 0.858 km (0.533 miles)track, the Toyota Development Program driver, participating in the Short Track U.S. Nationals Response Energy 100 won his first race of the season.
The 16 years old driver, Raphaël Lessard’s qualifying time of 14:699 placed him in fifth. He started from the fourth position because the top 8 qualifying drivers draw for the starting position.
Two yellow flags were raised at the start of the race, during the first four laps. When the race resumed, Raphaël Lessard had an excellent start, passing Tyler Ankrum, positioning himself behind Jake Crum and then taking the lead.
When the race resumed on the 5thlap, the #51 FRL Express/Mobil 1/Toyota Camry driver lost his pursuers. Marvelling at the car’s performance, Lessard led for more than thirty laps before being joined by Trevor Noles #22. Noles was only a second ahead the Quebecker.
On the 57thlap, after two safety car laps one after the other, Lessard was patient and waited until the 76thlap before surprising his opponent. Lessard takes over the lead and brilliantly manages his race car. With six laps remaining, a new caution reassembles the racers.
In spite of it all, Raphaël Lessard at the wheel of his Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) car confidently handles the restart. He gives himself a huge lead in front of his closest opponents and manages to keep the lead to win his first race of the season. In total, the Quebecker will have lead the race during 56 laps of the one hundred for the Short Track U.S. Nationals Response Energy 100.
“I am extremely happy with this win. The Kyle Busch Motorsports team prepared an excellent car for this weekend’s event.” States the St-Joseph-de-Beauce native. “I was completely at ease during the restart with my car, I knew that I could catch-up with Noles even if he was driving hard in front of me. Racing at Bristol is unbelievable, it is even more when you win it. I wish to thank all those who watched the race at the Cage-Brasserie Sportive, my sponsors FRL Express, Mobil 1 and Toyota as well as the Kyle Busch Motorsports team, my parents, my partners and my fans.”
Raphaël Lessard will race again Saturday June 9 in Williamston, South Carolina at the Anderson Motor Speedway in the CARS Response Tour Series.