UPDATE 01/20/2022 at 7:45 PM: In a Facebook Live, Raphael Lessard spoke – mostly in French — to his fans about his plans for the 2022 racing season, which includes a handful of starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for SQR Development.
“My plans […] are to do a couple of Xfinity races for SQR [Development],” Lessard said. “I don’t know where exactly yet, but hopefully I’ll be able to announce it, my first race should be a short track.”
Lessard’s first race of the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series season will also mark his series debut, after making 35 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts between 2019 and 2021.
“It’s a great opportunity,” Lessard continued. “JC Stout called me two weeks ago, I guess, and he was looking for a driver, and I just couldn’t say no to an opportunity like that, to come back down to the United States, so people don’t forget about me, because I want to be back full-time there in the next couple years.
“I’m working on it, I’ve got a bunch of plans going on, for maybe the Pinty’s Series, I’ve got some late model going on in Canada, and maybe some dirt stuff. So, it’s going to be a busy summer for sure.”
Lessard competed in three NASCAR Pinty’s Series events last season, capturing the weekend sweep at Sunset Speedway, driving Wight Motorsports’ No. 80.
SQR Development has added Raphael Lessard to the driver lineup of their part-time No. 87 Toyota entry in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for 2022. The team made the announcement in a press release on Thursday.
Lessard will drive the car in, “select races,” however no specific races were announced in the release.
For SQR, they acquire a driver with a winning resume in the NASCAR National Series ranks in Lessard and Lessard gains a chance to rebuild his career after lack of sponsorship funding ended his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season in 2021, after seven races.
“As a team just getting going this year, having someone like Raphael Lessard drive some races for us is a pretty big deal,” said, JC Stout, team owner. “We are looking forward to working with him and helping us out with his prior experience. He’s been to Victory Lane and has the drive and passion we are needing.”
Stout continued in the release saying the team has filled it’s fleet with chassis obtained from Joe Gibbs Racing. The team expects to run around 10 races this season.
“We purchased all of our chassis from Joe Gibbs Racing and are working on them in our shop in Mooresville. Like any team, we are looking for partnerships on our No. 87 Toyota in the 10 or so races we’re going to run this season.”
Lessard will make his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut with the team. In 35-career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts, the 20-year old Canadian driver scored one win, five top-fives an 11 top-10 finishes.