Raphael Lessard Adds Two NASCAR Truck Races to His Season With Dgr-Crosley

june 6, 2019

Saint-Joseph-de-Beauce (Quebec, Canada) - June 6, 2019. Since last January, Raphael Lessard Racing has been assembling a suitable 2019 learning season for Raphael Lessard, to allow him to continue developing as a race driver and to turn his passion into a reality. A further step towards those goals is now added with the inclusion of two NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series races in the Toyota Tundra #17 Réseau dynamique | FRL Express truck prepared by DGR-Crosley. That team is affiliated with Toyota Racing Development (TRD), as is the promising young driver. The quick-learner will be on the track at the Iowa Speedway 7/8 mile (1.4 km) banked oval on June 15 for the "M&M'S 200 Presented by Casey's General Store" event. He will also race on the legendary Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) road circuit on August 24 and 25.

"I am really happy to participate in these two additional truck races. The DGR-Crosley team has changed several personnel since I last raced with them two years ago. Things do look great, as Crew Chief Kevin "Bono" Manion has an excellent reputation at all levels in NASCAR. In addition, I participated in a test session in Iowa on May 21 and covered 100 laps, which will allow me to drive hard right from the start of the first practice session," explains the driver of the #17 Réseau dynamique | FRL Express truck.

"Running at CTMP will be a challenge. I don't have an enormous amount of experience on road courses and driving a truck on such a fast track is going to be very special. The key will be in the preparation: extensive simulator work and in-depth sessions with driving coaches who know the track well. I would also like to thank my partners, especially Réseau dynamique and the people who allow me to have great experiences like these two races."

The addition of these races to Raphael Lessard's calendar is directly related to his brilliant performances so far this season, as his on-track work has not gone unnoticed by the powers that be. Whether driving a NASCAR truck (Martinsville, Virginia | Dover, Delaware), in the K&N series (Bristol, Tennessee) or in ARCA (Pensacola, Florida | Pocono, Pennsylvania), the promising young racer has always demonstrated his enormous on-track talent. In addition to his thrilling driving technique, Raphael Lessard quickly understood race strategies, how to fine tune suspensions in preparation for each race or open practice days and developed his ability to communicate with the crew. In addition, he is consistently the quickest driver on teams that he works with.

"I'm super excited to work with Raphael again. He's a great kid. He won a CARS Tour Championship with us back in 2016 and it's been really fun to watch his progression the past few years. He's done a great job in his first two truck races with KBM. He's put together solid races, ran all the laps and that's what it takes to learn and get better at this level. We are looking forward to getting him over here in one of our Tundras and continuing to help him learn and grow", said David Gilliland, the co-owner of DRG-Crosley.

Raphael Lessard's partners are working towards the 2020 goals: a full-time ride in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series, augmented by some strategically targeted races for visibility and experience (ARCA and Xfiniti). Raphael Lessard would also love to race in major NASCAR Pinty's Series events, namely the iconic Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières (June 10 and 11) and the Pinty's round held at CTMP on the same weekend as the NASCAR trucks in late August. His participation in these events in 2019 are dependent on the successful outcome to the search for the required budget that is already underway.

Read the complete press release here.

Photo credit: Nigel Kinrade Photography

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