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Raphael Lessard Ready for His First 2019 Race at the ARCA Pensacola 200 at Five Flags Speedway

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Raphael Lessard RacingSaint-Joseph-de-Beauce, Quebec, Canada (March 6th, 2019) – Raphael Lessard will launch his 2019 season in his #19 FRL Express/KBR car on a track where he recently excelled, the 0.8 km paved oval in Pensacola (Florida, USA). Raphael Lessard left his mark during his last visit to this track last December for the 200-lap classic “Snowball Derby,” the most important race of the year in Super Late Model. After leading 60 laps towards the end of the race, he was forced to retire only six (6) laps from the chequered flag. Raphael Lessard is looking forward to transforming this moral victory into a visit to the top step of the podium this time out.

“This will be my seventh race at Pensacola, all in a Super Late Model. I feel comfortable on the track and I can drive hard almost easily. This will be my third race ever in an ARCA car that is 575 lb heavier and 150 hp more powerful than a Super Late Model. I am fortunate to have Jeff Stankiewicz as Crew Chief, as he won the ARCA championship last year and is doing the entire pickup season this year, two types of cars that I will race in this season.”Raphael LessardARCA Series Test – February 28

“During a test day at Pensacola last Thursday (February 28th), the rain forced us to wait until noon before going out on the track. My car pushed (understeer) during my first short runs. The team improved the car each time out and we ended up as the fastest of the six ARCA drivers on the track. I started out on used tires to get back into it and check out the car, then mounted a new set of tires and started pushing harder. We ended up quickest over the warm afternoon using 30-lap runs to understand how the tires fell off as they wore out.

By the cooler evening, other drivers were using up to four sets of new tires to try to beat my time from the slower afternoon session on used tires. One driver finally went 0.06 sec. quicker than me. Raphael stuck to older tires during the evening sessions in order to better understand the evolution of the tire grip as the tires wore out, and thus focusing on the race set-up rather than on qualifying.”

“I am confident for the race, as my pace was great on my race set-up, and I quickly understood how to get the most out of the heavy and lazy car. The car is good and we will be in it for the win,” said the young driver, always confident in his abilities.

Atlanta – NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck (February 22-23)

“In order to prepare for my three NASCAR truck races with the Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBR) team, I spent the whole Atlanta truck event attached to the KBR team. I was able to witness all the work and events carried out by the team, including testing, qualifying, racing, winning and podium, always listening to the conversations in person and over the phones. Kyle Busch is extraordinary, a real race surgeon who transformed my visit into a continuous training session. I also met a lot of important people from the team, from Toyota, and from NASCAR. Two extraordinary days,” added the young driver.Raphael LessardRaphael LessardRaphael Lessard

How to follow the March 9 ARCA race.

Next weekend in Pensacola, the support of the KBR team, specialists in Super Late Model and ARCA series, will make it easier for Raphael Lessard to stay in the game and go for the win.

The race is scheduled to start on Saturday, March 9 at 8:00 p.m. (EST) on the https://www.5flagsspeedway.com/.

You can follow the race live on https://www.mavtv.com/

Photo credit: Team KBR Development

2019 SEASON 

DATE

RACE

SERIES

TEAM

START

RESULTS

March 9, 2019

Five Flags Speedway, Pensacola, USA

ARCA

KBR Development

 

 

March 23, 2019

Martinsville Speedway, Virginia, USA

Gander Outdoors Truck

Kyle Busch Motosports

 

 

May 3, 2019

Dover International Speedway, Delaware, USA

Gander Outdoors Truck

Kyle Busch Motosports

 

 

August 15, 2019

Bristol Motor Speedway, Tennessee, USA

Gander Outdoors Truck

Kyle Busch Motosports

 

ABOUT RAPHAEL LESSARD

Born on July 5, 2001, in St-Joseph-de-Beauce, Quebec, Canada, Raphael Lessard is one of the hottest prospects in North-American racing today. Raphael made his debut as a race car driver in 2013, on local tracks in the Quebec City area. A quick learner, Lessard moved up the ranks through 2014 and 2015, when he caught the eye of ex-NASCAR Cup Series driver David Gilliland. This led to Lessard running in in the last four races of the 2015 season on the PASS North Tour, an asphalt Late Model series, driving for David Gilliland Racing. In 2016, his first full-time season with Gilliland, Lessard won the CARS Super Late Model Tour Championship with four wins, eight top-five and nine top-ten finishes in his No. 99 Toyota Camry. He also became the youngest Canadian race car driver to win a USA-based major stock car series. Since 2016, Lessard is part of Toyota’s prestigious driver development program (TRD). To this day, he is the only Canadian to be recruited into this program. Raphael Lessard Racing

HIGHTLIGHTS

2018 – Competed in 16 Super Late Model events for Kyle Busch Motorsports

  • Earned two wins, seven top-five and 13 top-10 finishes
  • Won the U.S. Short Track Nationals at Bristol Motor Speedway
  • Won the Red Bull 400 at Anderson Speedway
  • Led 60 laps at the prestigious Snowball Derby in December, when a leak put him out of the race lead with 6 laps to go.

2017 – Competed in 20 Super Late Model and two ARCA Series events

  • Earned two wins and eight top-five finishes in Super Late Model competition
  • Captured one top-10 finish in two starts in ARCA competition

2016 – Competed in 10 races

  • Won the CARS Super Late Model Series Champion
  • Youngest Canadian driver to win in a USA-based major stock car series
  • Four wins, eight top-five and nine top-10 finishes in the 10-race schedule
  • Voted most popular driver in North America for 2016 by Speed51.com
  • Named Top-10 Pavement Short Track Driver to watch in 2017 by Speed51.com
  • Voted as the seventh-ranked driver in the United States by Speed51.com’s Short Track Power Ranking

KBR DevelopmentABOUT KBR Development
KBR is a team running the full 2019 ARCA Menards Series, operating out of a 11,000-square-foot headquarters installation in Zeeland, Michigan. KBR works with only the best industry experts and top manufacturers in all aspects of operations. Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series winner Erik Jones, Raphael Lessard, Brandon McReynolds and Carson Hocevar are just a few of the talented drivers to have driven for the team.

FRL expressABOUT FRL EXPRESS Inc.
FRL Express Inc. is a general trucking company founded in December 2004 by François Lessard, specializing in general transportation in closed trailers, on short or long distances, in Canada and in the United States. Our team now employs about fifty logistics specialists as well as ten contracted truck drivers. We are proud of our business growth and evolution since our inception and recognize the hard work of every member of our team who contributed to our success. Our business priorities are taking care of our team members, providing flawless customer service, and ensuring complete customer satisfaction. We contribute to the success of our son Raphaël Lessard and are very proud of his accomplishments.

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