Raphael Lessard Gets Spun While Running Up Front Late at Martinsville. Mobil 1| Canac Team Relegated to 20th-Place Finish

october 30, 2020

Date: Oct. 30, 2020

Event: NASCAR Hall of Fame 200 (Race 22 of 23)

Series: NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series (NGROTS)

Location: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (0.526-mile oval)

Format: Three Stages; 50 laps/50 laps/100 laps

Start/Finish: 10th/20th (Running, completed 199 of 200 laps)

Winner: Grant Enfinger of Thorsport Racing (Ford)

Raphael Lessard looked to score his second victory of 2020 in the closing laps of the NASCAR Hall of Fame 200 at Martinsville. The solid run was spoiled when Brett Moffitt tapped Ben Rhodes who then made contact with the No. 4 Mobil 1 after the rookie driver restarted from the lead late and spun him entering corner 1 and causing substantial damage to the No. 4 Tundra.
The 19-year-old driver brought his Tundra to the attention of the over-the-wall crew for substantial repairs in order to complete the closing laps. Raphael Lessard was able to nurse his way through the final three laps to a 20th-place finish at the short track.

Despite the finish, Raphael Lessard was credited with leading ten laps.

Stage One Recap:

  • Raphael Lessard started in the 10th 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 Texas Motor Speedway.
  • Under the first caution flag of the race on Lap 14, Raphael Lessard radioed to his crew that he felt like he had a flat tire during the run. As the field was running behind the pace car, the crew assessed the situation and did not find any flat tires. Under the caution, the rookie driver was told to make sure he gets enough heat in the tires. Raphael Lessard would restart in the 13th
  • Raphael Lessard would finish the stage in the ninth position.

Stage Two Recap:

  • At the stage break, Raphael Lessard radioed to his crew that his Mobil 1 | Canac Tundra was loose everywhere. Crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. summoned his driver to pit road for four tires, fuel, and an adjustment to tighten up the Tundra. Raphael Lessard would start the second stage in the 11th
  • With the third caution of the day flying on Lap 79, Raphael Lessard was running in the ninth position when Hillman summoned him to pit road for four tires, fuel, and adjustments. After the stop, the talented teenager was asked to save his tires and equipment as the team was going to stay out at the stage break. Raphael Lessard would restart in the 14th
  • When the fourth caution flew on Lap 92, Raphael Lessard was running sixth and radioed to his crew that he was still sliding his right-front tire. He would restart from the sixth position for a two-lap shootout to the stage break.
  • Raphael Lessard finished the stage in the fourth position.

Final Stage Recap:

  • Under the break, Raphael Lessard radioed to the Mobil 1 | Canac crew that he was still tight. The rookie driver stayed out under the break and would restart in the third position.
  • After a six-lap run, Raphael Lessard worked his way up to second when the sixth caution flew and would restart in that position when the race went back green on Lap 127.
  • Raphael Lessard fell back to the fourth position when the seventh caution flew on Lap 155. He was summoned to pit road for four tires, fuel, and an air pressure adjustment. He would restart in the ninth position.
  • After maneuvering through two cautions, Lessard would gain the race lead on Lap 182. He would lead for 10 consecutive laps before contact between Brett Moffitt and Ben Rhodes on Lap 193 caused Ben Rhodes to push Raphaël Lessard into a spin and out of the group at the front
  • Raphael Lessard would finish in the 20th position, one lap down.

Raphael Lessard, driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 | Canac Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports

How was your race?

"I can't tell you how frustrating and disappointing it is. We ran in the top five for most of the race and were in the lead with eight laps remaining until another driver spun us. Despite the result, I am still very proud of my No. 4 Mobil 1 | Canac team and everyone who supports me. We were so fast!"

NASCAR Hall of Fame 200 Recap:

  • Grant Enfinger scored his sixth career victory Friday at Martinsville beating Ben Rhodes to the line by 0.803 seconds. Zane Smith, Christian Eckes and Matt Crafton finished in the top-five.
  • There were 16 lead changes among nine different drivers. There were 11 cautions for 82 laps.

How Lessard's KBM Teammates Fared:

  • Christian Eckes, driver of the No. 18 Toyota, finished fourth.
  • Brandon Jones, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished 17th.

NGROTS Championship Standings:

After 22 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, Nov. 6, 2020, at Phoenix Raceway. 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" until November 9, 2020:

**Press Release prepared by Kyle Busch Motorsports

Photo Credit: Nigel Kinrade Photography