Raphaël Lessard will not keep fond memories of his second participation this year on the one and a half mile oval circuit in Las Vegas.
The Saint-Joseph-de-Beauce driver suffered two punctures at the start of the 18th stage of the NASCAR pickup truck series on Friday night.
Despite his efforts to make up for lost time, the damage was done. He had started from 15th place when the green light was waved.
It was contact with the protective wall on lap 4, when he had managed to climb into the Top 10, which meant a first stop at the supply pit.
His mechanics from the Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) team then changed two tires, one of which was flat, while trying to free a damaged front right wing.
The 19-year-old driver was able to return to the track, but was forced to make a second pit stop for another … puncture, three laps later during a neutralization.
Said wing was found to rub against the tire, causing it to lose again.
Lessard, however, was able to continue his journey even if, on his return to the track, he conceded three laps to the leaders.
Finally, it is in 20th place that he will cross the finish line, not without having shown a lot of fighting spirit. In favor of a daring strategy, he will indeed make up two of his three laps behind.
The event was won by Austin Hill, who edged Sheldon Creed and Tanner Gray.
The other Canadian entered in the race, Ontarian Stewart Friesen, matched his best performance of the season with a fourth place finish.
Christian Eckes and Chandler Smith, Lessard's teammates at KBM, took fifth and eighth places respectively.
The next stop of the season will be next Saturday (departure scheduled at 1 p.m.) on the Talladega, Alabama speed ring, the longest track of the season.