Saturday, September 23, 2023

Raphael Lessard Powers to Statement Victory in NASCAR Pinty’s Series Season Opener at Sunset Speedway

After starting the 2021 season with plans of running full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, I’m sure Raphael Lessard didn’t expect to be in victory lane at Sunset Speedway in the season-opener for the NASCAR Pinty’s Series, but after a lack of sponsorship removed him from his role with GMS Racing, the 20-year-old has continued to make the best of a disappointing situation.

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The Saint-Joseph de Beauce, Quebec-native wasn’t even scheduled to compete in Sunday’s event, when Donald Theetge, the intended driver of the No. 80 Chevrolet Camaro for Wight Motorsports, was deemed unable to compete in the event, due to an injury in the off-season, making room for Lessard to fill-in.

Jacombs Racing’s Peter Shepherd III claimed the pole position for the first of two 125-lap events on Sunday Night, in which he domiante the early portions of, leading the majority of the event’s laps before losing the race lead to Treyton Lapcevich, and eventually, Raphael Lessard. For Shepherd, a late-race incident between himself and Kevin Lacroix, would relegate him back to a 12th-place finish.

The pass for the victory took place on a restart within 25 laps to go, as Lessard darted underneath the No. 51 of Andrew Ranger and the No. 7 of Peter Shepherd III in a bold and brilliant three wide move, claiming the top spot after hanging around the back-half of the top-five all night long, while also attempting to work in the second lane.

Andrew Ranger – driving for Rick Ware Racing in their NASCAR Pinty’s Series debut — finished in the runner-up position, with Alex Tagliani, Kevin Lacroix and Shae Gemmell rounding out the top-five finishers. LP Dumoulin, Marc-Antoine Camirand, Alex Guenette, Treyten Lapcevich and Larry Jackson rounded out the top-10.

Shortly before the halfway point of the event, two-time NASCAR Pinty’s Series Champion, DJ Kennington, suffered mechanical issues to his No. 17 Castrol Edge Dodge, which would relegate him to a 17th-place finish, and a large hole to dig out of in pursuit of his third championship.

2021 Frontline Workers 125 at Sunset Speedway Race Results

  1. Raphael Lessard
  2. Andrew Ranger
  3. Alex Tagliani
  4. Kevin Lacroix
  5. Shae Gammell
  6. LP Dumoulin
  7. MA Camirand
  8. Alex Guenette
  9. Treyten Lapcevich
  10. Larry Jackson
  11. Mark Dilley
  12. Petey Shepherd
  13. Shantel Kalika
  14. Brent Wheller
  15. Brett Taylor
  16. TJ Rinomato
  17. DJ Kennington
Joseph Srigley
Joseph Srigley
University of Windsor | Business Administration - Supply Chain & Data Analytics Editor at

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