Raphaël Lessard drove from 25th into the top 10 in Alabama.
By: Raphaël Lessard Racing
March 22 2017
Kinston, Alabama - Fifteen year-old Raphaël Lessard finished 8th in the 41st edition of the Rattler 250, a Southern Super Series (SSS) 250-lap race which took place at the South Alabama Speedway on Sunday. The young Canadian native managed a spectacular comeback, making his way from the 25th position to the 5th position, before finishing 8th.
After a discouraging 25th place during qualifying, the Toyota Camry #99 FRL Express/Toyota-TRD/JBL Audio driver from David Gilliland Racing made an impressive comeback in the first laps, going from the 25th to the 14th position in only 14 laps. After 100 laps, Raphaël made his way to the Top 10, taking advantage of several restarts due to yellow flags, to inch his way thru competitors.
Raphaël shared the track with renowned drivers such as Ty Majeski, winner of the Rattler 250 for a second year in a row, Harrison Burton, son of the NASCAR driver Jeff Burton, himself a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, as well as veteran Jeff Choquette. Lessard will renew with Southern Super Series' drivers on September 23rd at the Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida, for a second and last SSS race in 2017.
Raphaël Lessard: “In the qualifying round, I pushed the car too much and was unsuccessful and that’s why I only made the 25th position. At the beginning of the race, my Toyota Camry was doing really well. We probably had a car capable of winning at that stage and we managed an exciting push to 5th place. Unfortunately the car could not maintain the rhythm. I made a few good passes and there were some good battles on the track to try to comeback but there was a little something missing to hope for the victory. We will come back strongly next week. I cannot thank Toyota enough for their help as well as Team Gilliland Racing and crew chief Seth Smith. I would also like to thank FRL Express, JBL Audio and my agent Robert Desrosiers for their invaluable help.”
Raphaël Lessard is now heading for Nashville to test on Tuesday his ARCA Toyota Camry #25 with Venturini Motorsports. Raphaël’s next race will be on March 25th at the Dominion Raceway in Thornburg, Virginia. It will be Raphaël's first CARS Tour race since winning the CARS Tour Championship last autumn. The format will be two separate 75-lap races. The driver with the best result average will earn a bye to the US Short Track Nat'ls in Bristol on May 21st.