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Raphael Lessard wins in Pinty’s Series debut at home track

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Raphael Lessard wins in Pinty’s Series debut at home track
By:
Jun 30, 2019, 6:50 PM

The month of June is one Raphaël Lessard will never forget no matter how far he goes in his racing career.

 Raphael Lessard, DGR-Crosley, Toyota Tundra RESEAU Dynamique.com / FRL Express INC.
 Raphael Lessard, DGR-Crosley, Toyota Tundra RESEAU Dynamique.com / FRL Express INC.
 Raphael Lessard, DGR-Crosley, Toyota Tundra RESEAU Dynamique.com / FRL Express INC.
Raphael Lessard
Kevin Lacroix
Kevin Lacroix
Third place Alex Labbe
Alex Labbe

After scoring his first top-10 finish in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series earlier this month at Iowa Speedway, Lessard topped that accomplish by winning in his first NASCAR Pinty’s Series start.

The St. Joseph de Beauce, Quebec, teenager took the lead on Lap 137 and remained out front the rest of the way to win the rain-shortened Budweiser 300 at Autodrome Chaudiere.

The Toyota Racing Development driver passed his teammate and defending series champion L.P. Dumoulin and held on to score the surprising win.

“It's (the win) very special, it's kind of a dream come true,” said Lessard. “I never expected to win my first ever NASCAR Pinty's Series race here at home, a major event with all the great drivers who have been here over time. 

“The guys at Dumoulin Competition gave me an awesome race car. It's hard to dominate like this with a one-race deal. It's your first time with the team, with the car and everything is new.”

Lessard also added that his car actually got better as the race went on past halfway.

“I wasn't sure how the race would play out,” Lessard said. “In practice we were okay on new tires, but we needed a little more speed. And on old tires, we just kept being better and better. I had to pace myself to slow down. 

“It was a lot of fun, I can't thank enough the Dumoulin Competition team for the awesome car, my partners Sociétés Louis Jacques and FRL Express, brothers Jean-Francois and Louis-Philippe Dumoulin, and everyone on the team.”

Kevin Lacroix, who won the season opener last month and finished second on the podium at Jukas Motor Speedway in the second race of the season, followed Lessard at the finish to continue his best start of any Pinty’s Series season.

“We always have a hard time here and we were targeting top 5 maybe top 6 and we would’ve been really happy,” Lacroix said. “And now second place, top contender. Everything is very nice for us, we’re really happy, gaining a lot of points, taking the points lead.”

Alex Labbe scored his best series finish since he returned to full-time competition coming home third after starting from the pole with Andrew Ranger and Alex Tagliani rounding out the top five.

Alex Tagliani scored his second top-10 finish of the season in sixth, followed by Brett Taylor’s best series finish in seventh. Brandon White raced from a lap down to finish eighth with Simon Dion-Viens and Donald Theetge completed the top 10.

Fin St # Driver Sponsor / Owner Car Laps Status Led Pts
1   07    Raphael Lessard Societes Louis Jacques / FRL Express   (J.F Dumoulin) Dodge 286      
2   74    Kevin Lacroix Bumper to Bumper / Total / Gates   (Sylvain Lacroix) Dodge 286 1.683    
3   36    Alex Labbe Hotel Le Concorde / Silver Wax / Festidrag   (Dave Jacombs) Ford 286 3.814    
4   27    Andrew Ranger Mopar / Pennzoil   (Doug Kennington) Dodge 286 5.527    
5   18    Alex Tagliani RONA / EpiPen / St-Hubert / Spectra Premium   (Scott Steckly) Chevrolet 286 7.981    
6   64    Mark Dilley Leland / NTN Bearings / Sharkbite   (Susan Micks) Ford 286 10.451    
7   46    Brett Taylor Wingn It Restaurants   (Bud Morris) Dodge 286 11.669    
8   04    Brandon White Early Detection is the Key Chevrolet 286 13.381    
9   37    Simon Dion-Viens Castrol / Rousseau Metal / Best Buy Pieces d'   (Clement Samson) Ford 285 1 Lap    
10   24    Donald Theetge Mercedes-Benz St Nicolas / Circuit Acura   (Scott Steckly) Chevrolet 284 2 Laps    
11   22    Marc-Antoine Camirand GM Paille   (Scott Steckly) Chevrolet 283 3 Laps    
12   17    D.J. Kennington Castrol Edge   (D.J. Kennington) Dodge 280 6 Laps    
13   21    Jason White Powder Ventures Excavations   (Melissa Mckenzie) Dodge 280 6 Laps    
14   02    T.J. Rinomato * HOLR / RGC / Watson Building Supplies   (Susan Micks) Ford 279 7 Laps    
15   47    L.P. Dumoulin Weathertech Canada / Bellemare / Eibach   (Marc-Andre Bergeron) Dodge 271 15 Laps    
16   3    Jason Hathaway Kubota / Choko / Premium Bulk Systems / Kugel   (Ed Hakonson) Chevrolet 271 15 Laps    
17   1    Anthony Simone Silverline Tools / Mopar / CBRT / WMI   (Bud Morris) Dodge 198 88 Laps    
Rookie drivers are denoted with an asterisk.
* Race shortened to 286 laps due to Rain.
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About this article

Series NASCAR , NASCAR Canada
Location Autodrome Chaudière
Drivers Raphael Lessard
Author Tim Southers