Raphaël Lessard scores top-5 finish at Rattler 250
Teenager Raphaël Lessard claimed fourth place Sunday afternoon at the Rattler 250 of the Southern Super Series for Super Late Models at South Alabama Speedway in Kingston, Alabama.
Raphaël Lessard, a member of the Toyota Racing Development program, started the event on the strong note, setting the fastest time in the practice sessions before capturing the pole in his No. 51 FRL Express/Mobil 1/Toyota Camry entered by Kyle Busch Motosports.
Lessard fought hard during the 250-lap race and remained in the leading group during the first half of the race before he got penalized for passing the pace car when he dived into the pit lane for a pit stop.
The 16-year-old Canadian rejoined the race in 16th position. Making the most of the yellow flags, he sliced through the field and made it back to the front pack.
Unfortunately, he was forced to take the restarts on the inside lane, where his Toyota was not at its advantage. He finally crossed the line in fourth place behind race winner Harrison Burton, Jeff Choquette and Tyler Ankrum.
“I’m obviously disappointed that I passed the pace car. I shouldn’t have done this,” said Lessard. “However, I must learn from my mistakes and rest assure that I will not do it again! I’m really proud of my performance as I climbed from 16th to third place to eventually finish fourth. My car was very strong, and I found no problem passing people to make it back to the front. Luckily, the yellows also helped me, because they prevented the leaders to disappear into the distance.”
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