Hickory, North Carolina, August 5, 2018 – Raphaël Lessard was hoping for a victory during the Throwback 276in the CARS Response Energy Tourseries at the Hickory Motor Speedway this past Saturday night. However, it’s in 15thplace that he finishes this 138-lap event. This result does not represent the performances of this young prodigy.
Starting the race from the 7thplace, Raphaël Lessard quickly made his way to the Top 5. The Saint-Joseph-de-Beauce native closed in on the leader’s pack and tried to fight for the lead, but the other drivers were playing hard.
At the 59th lap, as he was running sixth, the race became harder for Lessard. The brake on the rear right wheel had a problem and Raphaël had no other choice than to come down pit road for some repair.
Lucky in his demeanor, the Kyle Busch Motorsportsteam saw a caution flag come out on the 64thlap. The team of the #51 FRL Express/Mobil 1/Toyota Camry worked hard to fix the brake so that Raphaël could come back on the track only 4 laps down from the lead lap.
While trying to climb up the field, the driver had to make due with a lot of traffic. On the 84thlap, a five-car accident happened in front of Lessard. Because of this caution flag, Lessard was offered the Lucky Dogwhich gave him a lap back.
During the race, a few drivers experienced mechanical issues, allowing the 17 years-old driver to come back into the Top 20. Another caution flag came out at the 105thlap, which gave Lessard another lap back, being now only two laps down. The last caution flag came out, and Lessard completed the race just one lap behind the leader, in 15th place.
Lessard scored some important points in the Driver’s Championship. However, with these mechanical issues, Jared Fryar takes the lead in the standings.
“In these circumstances, we could not have done better. But a 15place-finish is not what we were hoping for when we started the race” revealed Lessard. “One thing I can say for sure; the mechanics did an outstandingly fast job on the car so I wouldn’t be too far behind. There is nothing we can do about this brake issue. As always, we learn from this experience and we will come back stronger to the next event. I want to thank my parents, my sponsors FRL Express, Mobil 1 and Toyota, and Kyle Busch Motorsports. I also need to thank the investors in my limited partnership, and all the fans who came out to watch the race at the Cage-Brasserie Sportive and at the Resto l’Express.”
Next race on the calendar:
Raphaël Lessard will be back in Québec next weekend. The Beauce native will be on the track during the second weekend of the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières in the CSCC LMS series. The race will take place right after the NASCAR Pinty’s event.
At the request of several of his fans, Raphael set up a fundraising campaign. Go to this link to find out more and support Raphael: https://makeachamp.com/raphaellessardracing