Contrary to what was announced last January, Raphal Lessard will not participate in the Xfinity Series event that will be contested on Saturday at Richmond Circuit in Virginia.
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The list of 42 participants, revealed yesterday, does not include the name of the Quebec driver, nor the name of the team he wanted to recruit for a few events in the NASCAR Cup waiting room in 2022.
This team, SQR Development, was recently formed by JC Stout, this former driver whose mediocre record showed eight retirements in nine starts in the Xfinity Series, from 2008 to 2010. His best result is…37And the Place in Charlotte, North Carolina on May 23, 2009.
“I haven’t heard from him in a long time,” Lessard said in a phone interview. Newspaper. goldI took the initiative, by calling him last Saturday, to get to the bottom of it. »
“That’s when he explained to me that for personal reasons, he couldn’t get me to race,” said the driver from Saint-Joseph-de-Bos.
Nothing to lose
Many observers, including its writer, questioned the seriousness of this bizarre project when it was announced at the beginning of the year.
We have to admit that we won’t see Lessard drive a Toyota Supra on Saturday in Richmond. In fact, we won’t see her, period, this season in the Xfinity series. At least not with this team whose cars, most likely, will never leave the workshop.
“I wasn’t really convinced of the seriousness of this company when I was contacted,” Lessard admitted. But I have nothing to lose. It was to be a turnkey wheel and I had no financial contribution to make. »
Stout is the same person who aspires to run for governor in his state of New York.
This stranger may have used Lessard’s notoriety to try to impress the sponsors, but he was not as successful as many originally claimed.
Lessard has nothing to be ashamed of in this case. He also recommended many of his acquaintances in the United States to join this adventure which, in the end, takes the appearance of an April Fools’ joke.
What is certain, however, is that he will run in his first race in 2022, at Loudoun Circuit, in New Hampshire, on April 16, on behalf of the famed LaRue Brothers team, in the stock series – due to the LMS.
We’ll also see him racing in this same championship on the Vallée-Jonction and Montmagny tracks this summer in Quebec.
Benti and Clay Playgrounds
Lessard’s schedule this year also includes appearances on the ovals in Canada’s NASCAR Pinty Series and some appearances on clay as well.
In the latter case, we will see him on board a racing car from the Élite Motorsports team that will also be racing for François Bernier, one of the main advantages of this discipline.
Lessard has made it clear that he will run a championship in four compulsory races (Granby, Drummond, Cornwall and Saint-Marcel) that will allow participants to get their permit to ride the Grand Prix de Trois Riviera this August.
Class 1 license
Concluding our conversation, Lessard indicated that he will take an exam on Tuesday to obtain a Class 1 license, which will allow him to drive a tractor-trailer intended for hauling cargo.
“Currently, I can drive,” he said, “but he must be accompanied by a holder of such a permit.”
However, it is his grandfather Jean-Paul, who is over 80 years old and the well-known character on Boss, who takes his place by his side during his outings!
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