NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Overview:
Event: Clean Harbors 200, Race 20 of 23, 134 Laps – 30/30/74; 201 Miles
Location: Kansas Speedway in Kansas City (1.5-mile tri-oval)
Date/Broadcast: Oct. 17, 2020 at 4 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR 90
Racing with Raphael
- Coming off his first-career NASCAR victory at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Raphael Lessard and the No. 4 SiriusXM team head to Kansas Speedway for the third time in 2020., In July, the Gander Trucks raced twice at Kansas. In the first race, Lessard and the No. 4 team finished 16th after battling a loose Toyota Tundra throughout the race. In the second race, the No. 4 team received a left-front tire rub late in the race but were able to rebound to finish 11th.
- So far in 2020, Lessard has 19 starts in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Series with one win, two top-fives, five top-10s, an average starting position of 13.0 and an average finishing position of 15.2. On 1.5-mile tracks this season, Lessard has an average finish of 16.2 in nine starts, with a best result of 11th coming at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway in June and again at the second Kansas race in July.
- Lessard made five Gander Trucks starts in 2019, three of those with KBM. Across his five starts, he posted two top-10 finishes while recording an average starting position of 10.4 and average finish of 11.1. Lessard’s strongest run came in his final start of the season at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway when he was running inside the top five with under 30 laps remaining before getting spun and relegated to a 12th-place finish.
- While Lessard may be a newcomer to the Gander Trucks, crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. has plenty of experience. The veteran crew chief has 319 Gander Truck Series starts under his belt, with 23 wins, 23 poles, 117 top-five and 175 top-10 finishes with drivers including Todd Bodine, Jeb Burton, Kyle Busch and last season, Harrison Burton. At Kansas, Hillman has 15 starts, one win (Todd Bodine, 2005), five top-fives, 10 top-10s, an average start of 13.0, and an average finish of 9.7.
- 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.
- Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) is the leading audio entertainment company in the U.S., and the premier programmer and platform for subscription- and digital advertising-supported audio products. Pandora, a subsidiary of SiriusXM, is the largest ad-supported audio entertainment streaming service in the U.S. SiriusXM and Pandora together reach more than 100 million people each month with their audio products.
Raphael Lessard, Driver Q&A
What does it mean to you to now be able to say that you are a winner in one of NASCAR’s top-three series?
“It really means the world to me. It’s a dream come true to be a winner in one of the top-three NASCAR series. We worked really hard to get to this point. I’ve worked hard. These past few years have been full of sacrifices. It finally paid off. We are going to keep on working even harder for the rest of the season. I am really excited for Kansas. I feel like we are going to have a good SiriusXM Toyota Tundra. We are going to try a new package. We are excited for it. We will see how it is on the first lap.”
After experiencing the thrill of victory at Talladega, does that motivate you and your team to go out and get more wins the rest of the season?
“Now that I know how it feels to win a race, I feel like we are going to need to win more because it is awesome. It’s a crazy feeling. It’s a dream come true. We are going to keep on working hard. I think it is going to motivate us to be even better and work harder for the rest of the season. I feel like my confidence is higher than ever. My team’s confidence in me and themselves is really good. We are going to have a good shot at Kansas. Hopefully we can get a lot of checkered flags, but that is the plan for the rest of the season to get to victory lane again.”
For most of the races this year, you’ve gone to a track for the first time without practice or qualifying. At Kansas, you’ve raced there twice already this season. How will that help you prepare for this Saturday’s race?
“We raced Kansas this summer. I don’t think the tires and our setup worked well together. We are trying something new this time. We will see if our package that we’ve been working on in the TRD simulator is going to be way better. The temperature is going to be different, so there is going to be a lot more grip. I’m excited to go back there. I know what the racetrack looks like. It’s an awesome place. You can run the top and the bottom. There are multiple grooves you can use. I’m excited. I love this racetrack even if we weren’t as good as we wanted, but we will get it this time. SiriusXM is on the truck. The SiriusXM colors look really good on the truck. It’s really fast. I’m really excited, so let’s go get another one!”
Raphael Lessard Career Highlights:
- Across 24 career Truck Series starts has produced one win, two top-fives, seven top-10 finishes and an average finish of 14.4.
- 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 SiriusXM Tundra:
KBM-066: The No. 4 SiriusXM team will unload chassis number KBM-066, which has been raced twice. Most recently, Lessard piloted the chassis to a sixth-place finish earlier this season at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway
KBM Notes of Interest:
- Across 31 starts at Kansas, KBM drivers have collected four wins (Kyle Busch: 2014 & 2017; William Byron: 2016; Noah Gragson: 2018), four poles (Kyle Busch: 2014; Erik Jones: 2015; Christopher Bell: 2017; Noah Gragson: 2018), 12 top-fives, 20 top-10s, 613 laps led, an average start of 8.1, and an average finish of 9.5.
- 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).