NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Overview:
Event: Lucas Oil 150, Race 23 of 23, 200 Laps – 45/45/60; 150 Miles
Location: Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway (one-mile oval)
Date/Broadcast: Nov. 6, 2020 at 8 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR 90
Racing With Raphael
- Raphael Lessard and the No. 4 Mobil 1 team head to Phoenix Raceway for the final race of the 2020 season. The talented teenager will make his first career start at the one-mile facility. Last week, Lessard was in contention to win at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway until a spin and contact from another competitor in the final ten laps relegated the rookie driver to a 20th-place finish.
- The 19-year-old Canadian rookie became just the fifth foreign-born driver earn a Gander Trucks victory when he narrowly edged former Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne under caution in NASCAR overtime at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway on Oct. 3. Overall, in 2020, Lessard has 22 starts with one win, 20 laps led, three top-fives, six top-10s, an average starting position of 13.0 and an average finishing position of 15.7.
- The rookie driver has delivered improved finishes in the second half of the season. After posting an average finish of 18.3 and a best result of 11th across the first 10 races of the season, Lessard has posted an average finish of 13.6 across the last 12 races, including his win and all six of his top-10 finishes.
- While Lessard may be a newcomer to the Gander Trucks, crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. has plenty of experience. The veteran crew chief has 322 Gander Truck Series starts under his belt, with 23 wins, 23 poles, 118 top-five and 176 top-10 finishes with drivers including Todd Bodine, Jeb Burton, Kyle Busch and last season, Harrison Burton. At Phoenix, Hillman has 13 starts, six top-fives, nine top-10s, an average starting spot of 10.2 and an average finish of 6.7. He earned one win in 2005 with Todd Bodine.
- Due to Lessard’s presence in the series, all 23 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Series races this season will be broadcast throughout Canada on RDS and RDS DIRECT.
- The world’s leading synthetic motor oil brand, Mobil 1, features anti-wear technology that provides performance beyond our conventional motor oils. This technology allows Mobil 1 to meet or exceed the toughest standards of car builders and to provide exceptional protection against engine wear, under normal or even some of the most extreme conditions. Mobil 1 flows quickly in extreme temperatures to protect critical engine parts and is designed to maximize engine performance and help extend engine life.
Raphael Lessard, Driver Q&A
It’s the final race of the season. How would you assess your season?
“It’s the last race of the season at Phoenix. I’ve never been there. I’m excited to go and try it out. We are going to try and end on a good note. Overall, I learned a lot this season. I can’t thank everyone enough at Kyle Busch Motorsports, TRD, Mobil 1, JBL, CANAC and everyone that makes it possible. It’s been a crazy year with no practice or qualifying, but we battled through it. We had some challenges. I gained a lot of experience throughout the season. I feel like I am a way better driver than I was at the beginning of the season. I have way more experience, so I am happy with the results we had. Hopefully we can go get a win now!”
As you’ve begun studying for this week’s race, how crazy do the restarts look to be with the dogleg right after the start finish line?
“Phoenix looks really unique especially with the dogleg. On the restarts, I feel like it gets crazy. Even during the race, it gets crazy as everyone goes down there trying to cut the racetrack to get the shortest way around. It should be exciting. I’m excited to try it out. Hopefully, we can take the dogleg to our advantage and get more speed out of the truck doing it. I’m excited. I’m just going to go for it again this weekend.”
What’s on top of your list for things to do when the season is over?
“There are a lot of things on my list for this offseason that I want to do. Mostly, I feel like it’s going to be going back to Canada and see my family that I haven’t seen all year and spend time with them. I would say I am sad that the season is over already because I wanted to race more and more and race everyday if I could. It’s been a good season. We are going to finish it on a high note and go have a g ood time with my family.”
Raphael Lessard Career Highlights:
- Across 27 career Truck Series starts has produced one win, three top-fives, eight top-10 finishes and an average finish of 14.9.
- In 2019, Lessard posted 83 laps led, two top-five and three top-10 finishes across three ARCA Menards Series starts and one win, one top-five and two top-10 finishes in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series. His Pinty’s Series victory came at his hometown track, Autodrome Chaudiere in Vallee-Jonction, Quebec, on June 29 when he led a race-high 153 laps en route to the sentimental win.
- Won two marquee events driving KBM’s famed No. 51 Super Late Model in 2018: The Short Track U.S. Nationals at Bristol Motor Speedway in May and the Red Bud 400 ARCA/CRA Super Series race at Anderson Speedway in July.
- Overall in 16 starts for KBM in 2018 split across the CARS Super Late Model Tour, the Southern Super Series and the ARCA/CRA Super Series, posted two wins, three poles, seven top-five and 10 top-10 finishes in 2018.Started seventh and led 68 laps in the prestigious Snowball Derby at 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla.
- Captured the 2016 CARS Super Late Model Tour championship after recording four wins, one pole, 157 laps led, eight top-five and nine top-10 finishes across 10 races.
Raphael Lessard’s No. 4 Mobil 1 Tundra:
KBM-062: The No. 4 Mobil 1 team will unload chassis number KBM-062, which has been raced five times. Most recently, Lessard piloted the chassis to an 18th-place finish earlier this season at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. The Tundra’s best finish was sixth at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway in August.
KBM Notes of Interest:
- KBM drivers have collected five wins, five poles, 914 laps led, 11 top-five and 19 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 9.7 across 28 starts at Phoenix Raceway.
- The organization’s five victories at the Arizona track have come with four different drivers: Kyle Busch won in 2011, Brian Scott in 2012, Erik Jones went back-to-back in 2013-2014 and Daniel Suarez claimed the top spot in 2016.
- KBM holds the NGROTS records for most career wins (80) and most wins in a single season (14 in 2014). In addition to collecting a series-record seven Owner’s Championships, the organization has produced two championship-winning drivers: Erik Jones (2015) and Christopher Bell (2017).