Canadian Raphael Lessard adds more races to Truck schedule

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Raphael Lessard has already made two Gander Outdoors Truck Series starts and he’ll now compete June 15 in Iowa and Aug. 25 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

Lessard, who qualified seventh in both of his previous NASCAR national series starts this season at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and Dover (Del.) Speedway, is teaming up with the Toyota Racing Development Team for the pair of races.

“I am really happy to participate in these two additional truck races,” said Lessard. “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.”

Lessard will make his first NASCAR Pinty’s Series start on June 29 at Autodrome Chaudière near his hometown of  St. Joseph de Beauce, Quebec and expects racing at CTMP to be a handful.

“Running at CTMP will be a challenge,” said Lessard. “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.”

Lessard is no stranger to DRG–Crosley co-owner David Gilliland, running his Super Late Model a few years back and winning a title with him.

“I’m super excited to work with Raphael again,” Gilliland said. “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.”

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