Date: Sept. 17, 2020
Event: UNOH 200 (Race 17of 23)
Series: NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series
Location: Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee (0.533-mile oval)
Format: Three Stages; 55 laps/55 laps/90 laps
Start/Finish: 19th/18th (Running, completed 199 of 200 laps)
Winner: Sam Mayer of GMS Racing (Chevrolet)
After getting caught a lap down in the opening stage at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, Raphael Lessard was unable to get back on the lead lap. The rookie driver crossed the line in the 19th position, but after a disqualification, the rookie driver was credited with an 18th-place finish. He remains in the 12th position in the points standings.
Stage One Recap:
- Lessard started in the 19th position after a performance matrix based off of finishing position from the previous race, ranking in the owner points standings and the fastest lap from the previous race at Richmond (Va.) Raceway.
- Under the first caution of the night on Lap 8, Lessard radioed that his CANAC Tundra was tight at first but was better as the run went on. He would restart in the 17th position.
- Lessard would finish the stage in the 19th position, one lap down.
Stage Two Recap:
- At the stage break, Lessard radioed to his crew that his CANAC Tundra was loose. Veteran crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. summoned the 19-year-old driver down pit road and the over-the-wall crew administered a stop changing four tires, adding fuel, and making a trackbar adjustment. Lessard would restart the stage from the 17th position.
- Prior to the third caution on Lap 83, Lessard was in position to receive the free pass, but the race leader passed his KBM teammate Chandler Smith and put him one lap down with the caution waving seconds later. Under the caution, the rookie driver radioed to his crew that he needed right-front turn. Hillman kept his rookie driver on the racetrack.
- Lessard finished the stage in the 21st position.
- During the stage caution, Lessard radioed to the CANAC team that he was still battling a loose Toyota Tundra. Hillman called his rookie driver to the pit lane for four tires, fuel, and a trackbar adjustment. Lessard would start the stage in the 20th position.
- During the fifth and final caution on Lap 157, Lessard was told that he was the fastest truck on track for the three previous laps and to keep fighting despite being one lap down. Hillman kept the rookie driver on the track. He would restart from the 19th position.
- Lessard would finish the race in the 19th position, but after a disqualification, the rookie driver is credited with an 18th-place finish.
Raphael Lessard, driver of the No. 4 CANAC Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports
How was your night?
“We really struggled. We were really bad from the get-go. We were trying to work the outside and the inside. It wasn’t great. We fell a lap down at the beginning because of where we started. We couldn’t get back on the lead lap. The truck was not really good at all. There is no reason for us to be running where we were at Bristol. Bristol is one of my best tracks. It was very frustrating, but I can’t thank everyone at CANAC, Mobil 1, Toyota and Kyle Busch Motorsports.”
UNOH 200 Recap:
- Sam Mayer scored his first-career victory beating teammate Brett Moffitt by 4.413 seconds. Tanner Gray, Parker Kligerman and KBM’s Chandler Smith rounded out the top-five.
- The race featured five cautions for a total of 41 laps. There were four lead changes among three drivers.
How Lessard’s KBM Teammates Fared:
- Christian Eckes, driver of the No. 18 Toyota, finished 12th.
- Chandler Smith, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished fifth.
Gander Trucks Championship Standings:
After 17 events, Lessard remains 12th in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series point standings.
Lessard will be back behind the wheel of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Tundra when the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series resumes action on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway. Live coverage of the World of Westgate 200 will be on FS1, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM at 9 p.m. ET.