Raphael Lessard Delivers Fourth-Place Finish at Texas. CANAC Driver Scores Career-Best Result on a Mile-and-a-Half Track

october 25, 2020

Date: Oct. 25, 2020

Event: 400 (Race 21 of 23)

Series: Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series (NGROTS)

Location: Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (1.5-mile quad-oval)

Format: Three Stages; 35 laps/35 laps/82 laps

Start/Finish: 20th /4th (Running, completed 152 of 152 laps)

Winner: Sheldon Creed of GMS Racing (Chevrolet)

Raphael Lessard scored his career-best mile-and-a-half finish in Sunday's 400 at Texas Motor Speedway. Raphael Lessard started in the 20th position and worked his way through the field to finish fourth.

Stage One Recap:

  • Raphael Lessard started in the 20th position after a performance matrix based off of finishing position from the previous race, ranking in owner points standings and the fastest lap from the previous race at Kansas Speedway.
  • When the first caution flew on Lap 34, Raphael Lessard had fallen back to the 22nd position and would finish the stage there.

Stage Two Recap:

  • At the stage break, Raphael Lessard radioed to his crew that his CANAC Tundra was loose throughout the racetrack. Veteran crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. summoned his rookie driver to pit road to tighten up to the No. 4 CANAC Tundra as the over-the-wall pit crew administered a four-tire and fuel stop. Raphael Lessard would restart in the 17th
  • During the second caution on Lap 44, Raphael Lessard was running 16th and radioed to this crew that his truck was better but that he was having problems with his gas pedal. Under the caution, Hillman summoned his driver onto the pit lane to fix the issue. The rookie driver had to make a second pit stop under the caution on Lap 46 due to a flat tire. He would restart in the 23rd
  • Under the third caution, Raphael Lessard was running in the 21st position and stayed out. He restarted in the 20th
  • Raphael Lessard finished the stage in the 18th

Final Stage Recap:

  • Under the break, Raphael Lessard radioed to the CANAC crew that his Tundra was better than the previous runs. Hillman summoned his driver to pit road for a small adjustment, four tires and fuel. Lessard would restart in the 15th
  • When the fifth caution of the day flew on Lap 93, Raphael Lessard radioed to his crew that his CANAC Tundra was "pretty good." Hillman summoned his driver to pit road for the final stop of the day. After the pit stop, Raphael Lessard was asked to save fuel in the event of a green-white-checkered finish. He restarted in the 14th position,
  • After four caution periods over 21 laps, Raphael Lessard worked his way up to the eighth position when the ninth caution of the day flew. After staying out, Raphael Lessard restarted seventh,
  • As the field was under the first and only green-white-checkered event, Raphael Lessard worked his way up to fourth before a caution in Turn 2 ended the race under yellow.

Raphael Lessard, driver of the No. 4 CANAC Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports

Battled back from adversity all the way to the top-five today. How was your race?

"It was pretty crazy. We started 20th. It was really hard back there to pass. The truck handled good in dirty air like that, but we made up some ground. We were pretty good. We were up to 17th, and then we got up to about 15th and my throttle was almost sticking to the floor. It was really weird. It wouldn't come back like normal, so we had to come in and get it fixed. We had to start last because we pitted twice. We came from the back. I stayed patient. My Toyota Tundra was pretty good the whole race. We made some efficient adjustments and at the end I think I found something, and I was able to make moves and at least be as fast as the leader. The last restart I had the perfect jump. I just can't thank everyone at TRD, CANAC, Toyota. The Toyota Tundra is built right in Texas, so that's pretty special to get them a top-five, and hopefully we can do it again next week in Martinsville." 400 Recap:

  • Sheldon Creed scored the victory in NASCAR Overtime beating Austin Hill. Zane Smith, Raphael Lessard, and Brett Moffitt rounded out the top-five.
  • There were 14 lead changes among six different drivers. There were 10 cautions for 49 laps.

How Lessard's KBM Teammates Fared:

  • Christian Eckes, driver of the No. 18 Toyota, finished 25th.
  • Chandler Smith, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished 21st.

NGROTS Championship Standings:

After 21 events, Raphael Lessard sits 12th in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series point standings.

Next Race:

Raphael Lessard will be back behind the wheel of the No. 4 Tundra when the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series resumes action on Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. Live coverage will be on RDS, Fox Sports Racing, FS1, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM at 8 p.m. ET.

Reminder: To vote for the "Most popular driver of the NGROTS series":

**Press Release prepared by Kyle Busch Motorsports

Photo Credit: Nigel Kinrade Photography