Despite two punctures, which made him lose valuable time and relegated to the back of the pack, Raphael Lessard recovered in the end of the event to finish seventh overall in Friday night on the oval of two miles from the Michigan.
This is his best result in 16 starts in the series of pickup trucks to NASCAR and its third top ten to life after its 9th and 10th places achieved last year in Iowa and Mosport, respectively.
The race was won by the American, Zane Smith, who signed his first gain in the specialty. His compatriot Christian Eckes, team-mate of Lessard within the stable, Kyle Busch Motorsports, is ranked second.
“Had it not been for my two punctures, said Lessard in interview to the Newspaper, I honestly think that I would have been able to fight for victory. But, nevertheless, I am very happy with my result. I needed this kind of performance for the rebuilding of my confidence. “
Four rounds conducted
After being off from the 11th position on the starting grid, Lessard concluded his career in 12th place when the first segment (the 20th of the 100 towers planned) was completed.
While most of his immediate rivals are then stopped for refueling, the quebec driver was told to stay on the track. The approach has been successful since he held the head just a few meters after the stimulus.
“My team had made me enter the pits just before the end of the first segment under the green flag, said Lessard. I found myself second when the second step has begun. “
But in the 28th loop, after having led the pack for four laps (never-before-seen for him), he is the victim of a first puncture after a touchette is involved with his teammate, Chandler Smith. An unexpected stop forced him to start dead last while retaining a lap to the leader.
“It happened from the start of the second segment, he said. Smith was pat down by another driver and I was struck by the following. I still rode in front for a good stretch of time before my tire is completely flat. “
His second flat tire was caused by damage as a result of another hanging a little later.
Fourth two laps from the end
Favoured by an abundance of yellow flags, Lessard has managed gradually to reassemble the pack. And in a remarkable way. Less than two laps from the end, he fights bravely to maintain a fourth-place dearly won before losing a few positions when the checkered flag is finally waved.
“My van was particularly damaged at the end, has recognized Lessard, and I had to fight to maintain a good trajectory of the race. Fortunately, my van has held up and I have to thank my team for their excellent work. “
It took seven more turns to put an end to this trial endless.