Raphael Lessard may have made his classes on the traced oval, it is in road racing that he has signed the best result of her career in 17 starts in the series pick up trucks NASCAR.
The driver from Saint-Joseph-de-Beauce has managed to finish in third place, Sunday, at Daytona, aboard his speedster of the team, Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM). The event particularly lively was won by the American, Sheldon Creed.
In his first race of the season 2020, Alexandre Tagliani, teammate Lessard, meanwhile, saw its beautiful course to be interrupted by a series of clashes that have relegated to a disappointing 22nd place in the fall of the curtain.
Three rounds conducted
“The victory was within my reach, said Lessard. I’ve given everything and I feel like I’m more at home behind the wheel of the van. This is only a matter of time before you win a race. ”
The driver, 19-year-old had signed his best performance to the previous week in Michigan when it was ranked seventh. Lessard has conducted three rounds (from the 27th to the 29th) before you commit a mistake in entering too quickly into a turn.
“As per the regulations, I had to stop before leaving, he said. I lost a precious time, but I’ve still been able to go back to the platoon. “
Lessard currently occupies the 13th spot in the overall rollup of the series. Only the top ten in the table will qualify for the playoffs. Time is of the essence, because there are only four events in the calendar of the regular season.
All hopes were, however, allowed for two Quebecois who shared the front row when the green flag was deployed on the 27th lap to signify the start of the third and last segment.
But a touchette between the two partners of the team KMB has done very poorly in Tagliani. The damage to his truck prevented by the result of maintaining the pace of the main animators of the race.
“I must admit that Alex has not given me a lot of space when the race resumed, said Lessard. That’s how things are predictable, the drivers are very aggressive, sometimes too much. When we roll forward we don’t have much space and nobody wants to leave impose.
“This stimulus has been completely crazy. A driver hit me from behind [Brett Moffitt] and I was destabilized. The contact was strong with Alex, but this was not intentional. “
At the end of the wire, Tagliani has not hidden that he was very surprised and especially disappointed with the behavior of Lessard, but also that of his other teammate at KBM, Christian Eckes, who, he said, have both ruined his race.
“It is a pity that arise from such incidents involving drivers of the same team “, has insinuated Tagliani.
“As a result heart-wrenching”- Alexandre Tagliani
At the end of the wire, Alexandre Tagliani did not hide his frustration at the outcome of his participation in the event-series of pickup trucks NASCAR on the road course of Daytona, where he had to settle for the 22nd.
The veteran quebec driver had risen to the second place when the signal of the start of the third and final segment has been given in the 27th round.
Then, everything changed for one who had been recruited, similar to last year at Mosport in Ontario, by the renowned stable of Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM).
His team-mate Raphael Lessard, ranked third at the finish, held the first rank by his side when the green flag was waved.
And then, bang. The two partners in KBM are affected. The contact was severe.
“Before the start of this recovery,” explained Tagliani, I am insured with my scout as Raphael leaves me a little space at the entrance to the first turn and that it primarily avoids me to go in.
“But no. On the contrary, it has broken through my door. “
His two team-mates shown the finger
Lessard, to him, had a different version of events, saying that Tagliani had left no place to go. (Read the other text.)
“After the impact,” said Tagliani, the damage was done. A part of the body is rubbing on a tire. The front of my truck was also bruised. The temperature of the engine has increased, which has caused a loss of power. “
Then, a few laps later, with Christian Eckes, his other teammate at KBM, that it is rubbed.
“It does make things worse, he revealed. I had no more brakes. This kind of situation should never happen between team-mates. “
The best for the end
After being off from the 21st position on the starting grid, Tagliani was able to go back in the pack in the price, such as Lessard, a successful strategy of stops in the pits under the green flag, before the end of each of the first two segments.
“Everything worked beautifully, said Tagliani. I was doing my race in sparing my equipment. But, in the space of two reminders, it was all fucked up.
“I wanted to keep the best for the end. I knew that I had all the ingredients to win by being patient. This result is heart-wrenching. This victory me has slipped between the hands. “