Raphael Lessard Back on Track at Kansas Speedway
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS)
Event: Wise Power 200, race 7 of 22 (225 miles over three segments of 40 | 50 | 60 laps, for a total of 150 laps)
Track: Kansas Speedway (Kansas, United States – 1.5-mile banked oval)
Date | Live TV & Radio: Saturday May 1st at 7:30 PM (EDT) on RDS, FS1, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR 90 radio
** RDS and the RDS DIRECT digital network present every NCWTS race on the 2021 schedule.Saint Joseph de Beauce – Quebec, Canada (April 27, 2021) – Raphael Lessard will take part at the Kansas Speedway in the seventh NCWTS race of the 2021 season aboard the #24 Canac | Richelieu Hardware Silverado after two races on slower tracks at Bristol and Richmond. The Kansas layout is a typical NASCAR high speed 1.5-mile D-shaped oval with a 20-degree banking in the corners. This type of track allows the trucks to reach an average speed of 179 mph (288 km/h) and Raphael is now comfortable with those high speeds given his growing experience on this type of track. Raphael Lessard’s fans will be honoured with a logo on the truck to thank them for their support since the beginning of the adventure.
In only his second full season in NASCAR trucks, Raphael Lessard now knows how to control his machine in the turbulence at high speeds, how to protect his position while studying the behaviour of the drivers around him, and how to set up his overtaking moves according to his anticipation of the situation unfolding before him. The 2020 season and the beginning of 2021 have allowed him to become a driver who is now in contention for top-10 finishes and even a win at every outing in his GMS Racing-prepared truck.
Raphael Lessard Talks About Kansas Speedway
“I’m ready for Kansas! I liked the track when we raced there in 2020. There is a lot of room on the track, and we can drive high or low on the banking. We run at full throttle for a long time there so we need perfect traction in the rear so we can open the throttle as early as possible on corner exits. The track is very technical in terms of aerodynamics and you have to plan your overtaking carefully so you can pass the other truck in one quick sweep and not lose time. My last race on a 1.5-mile track was at Atlanta this past March. I am sure that my Canac | Richelieu Hardware truck will be in the mix for a top-10 finish with a good chance of a podium,” explained Raphael Lessard.
“We will display a logo on the Canac | Richelieu Hardware truck to thank our supporters during the race. I want to take this opportunity to thank all our supporters, who have made this adventure possible over the years. NASCAR racing gets more intense every year and I owe a big thank you to all of you for your help!” added Raphael Lessard.
Raphael Lessard and the NCWTS
After five (5) races in NASCAR trucks in 2019, Raphael Lessard competed in all 23 races of the NCWTS in 2020, his first full season at that level. His first 10 races of 2020 served him well as he worked hard with a professional team, and against seasoned drivers.
He learned more advanced driving techniques from these experienced drivers as well as from his spotter: learning new track quickly without a pre-race test or qualifying session, watching their driving trajectories and test new ones for himself as the track changes over the course of the race, managing downforce and turbulence, overtaking more effectively and protecting your position in the race, adapting to handling defects and adjusting his driving during a run, communicating effectively with the team during a run to describe any problems, managing front/rear braking distribution during a run, managing tire wear to optimize their performance at the end of the race and working in unison with team members during a pit stop.
The effects of this learning were clearly visible over the second half of the 2020 season, as Raphael Lessard caught and worked his way to the leaders several times to put himself in a position to win, as he did at Talladega, and accumulating four top-5 and seven top-10 finishes over the course of the season.Raphael Lessard career highlights
Right from his start on the track at age 11, Raphael Lessard has raced throughout the Eastern Canada and then on to the United States, establishing a solid reputation as a driver to watch along the way.
In 2020, the young Beauceron decided to leap into professional racing and competed in all 23 races of the NCWTS series (formerly the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Trucks Series). In 28 starts (five in 2019) in NCWTS trucks, Raphael Lessard has won one race, finished four times in the top-5 (two podiums), and nine times in the top-10, giving him an average finish of 14.5.
In 2019, Raphael Lessard led 83 race laps, finished twice in the top-5 and three times in the top-10 in three starts in the ARCA Menards Series. He earned a win, a top five and two top10 finishes in the NASCAR Pinty’s series. His NASCAR Pinty’s series win came on his home track, Autodrome Chaudière in Vallée-Jonction (Quebec, Canada), on June 29, after leading 153 of 300 laps on the way to an emotional win.
He also won two important Super Late Model Series races in 2018, including the U.S. National Short Track Championship at Bristol Motor Speedway in May, and the ARCA/CRA Super Series Red Bud 400 race at Anderson Speedway in July.
In 2016, Raphael Lessard won the CARS Tour Super Late Model Championship after recording four wins, one pole, leading 157 laps and finishing with eight top-five and nine top-ten finishes out of 10 races.2021 Season – GMS Racing – NCWTS
Date/Circuit/Start/Finish/Laps/Laps Led/Status/Driver Pts./Pos.
Friday, February 19 – Daytona – 5/23/99/12/Running/33-8
Friday, February 19 – Daytona – (road) 12/26/51/5/Running/46-7
Friday, March 5 – Las Vegas – 13/30/130/0/Running/61-15
Saturday, March 20 – Atlanta – 23/39/124/0/Differential/62-19
Saturday, March 27 – Bristol Dirt – 29/3/125/0/Running/99-14
Saturday, April 17 – Richmond – 5/23/249/0/Running/121-14
Saturday, May 1 – Kansas
Friday, May 7 – Darlington
Saturday, May 22 – COTA
Friday, May 28 – Charlotte
Saturday, June 12 – Texas
Friday, June 18 – Nashville
Saturday, June 26 – Pocono
Friday, July 9 – Knoxville
Saturday, August 7 – Watkins Glen
Friday, August 20 – Gateway
Sunday, September 5 – Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
Thursday, September 16 – Bristol
Friday, September 24 – Las Vegas
Saturday, October 2 – Talladega
Saturday, October 30 – Martinsville
Friday, November 5 – Phoenix
Photo Credit: GMS Racing
ABOUT PARTNERS (clickable links)
CANAC is the first independent hardware and building materials store chain to open in Quebec City. Its expertise of over 145 years of experience allows CANAC to perpetuate the spirit of the hardware stores of yesteryear in a modern environment, with qualified personnel trained by its continuing education centre accredited by Emploi-Québec. CANAC serves both individual customers and contractors and offers aggressive prices that defy all competition. Since its acquisition by Groupe Laberge in 1985, the company’s expansion has focused on opening new modern hardware stores and on renovating existing branches to better adapt them to the needs and expectations of consumers. Today, CANAC has 30 branches and employs more than 3,400 part-time and full-time workers.
Richelieu is a leading North American distributor, importer and manufacturer of specialty hardware and complementary products. Its products are targeted to an extensive customer base of kitchen and bathroom cabinet, storage and closet, home furnishing and office furniture manufacturers, residential and commercial woodworkers, door and window, and hardware retailers including renovation superstores. Richelieu offers customers a broad mix of products sourced from manufacturers worldwide. Its product selection consists of over 130,000 different items targeted to a base of more than 90,000 customers who are served by 82 establishments in North America – 40 distribution centres in Canada, 40 in the United States and 2 manufacturing plants in Canada.
GMS Racing competes full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with drivers Sheldon Creed, Zane Smith, Tyler Ankrum and Chase Purdy. The team also competes in the ARCA Racing Series with Jack Wood. Since the team began in 2014, GMS Racing won the 2016 and 2020 Camping World Trucks Championship, the 2015 ARCA Racing Series Championship as well as the 2019 & 2020 ARCA East Championship. GMS has grown to occupy several buildings located in Statesville, N.C. The campus also includes operations for GMS Fabrication.
FRL EXPRESS Inc.
F.R.L. Express Inc. is a general transportation company founded in 2004 by François Lessard. Its main field of activity over the last 15 years is general transport in closed trailers over short and long distances in Canada and the United States. FRL currently have about 50 employees in addition to about ten tractors-trailer outfits. FRL owners are proud of the progress made in recent years thanks to the FRL team members and wishes to continue on this positive note. “Our employees, customer service and satisfaction are our priorities. We are all proud to be partners in the success and achievements of our son Raphael Lessard,” state the proud parents.
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