“I injured my right hand and won’t be able to run for four to six weeks. I didn’t want to charge my team for my injury, so I thought of finding a driver and Rafael was my first choice.” Soleil. “It was essential to me, with his professional experience, I know we can win with him, at least to get to the podium.”
For Lessard, who ended his season prematurely in the NASCAR Camping World pickup truck series due to funding issues, Theetge’s call came at the right time. “I really appreciate that he thought of me, because I was just wondering if I could race my Penny this year,” said the 19-year-old who has known Theetge for several years.
“I grew up seeing him run on the bars in Quebec and then ran against him. I wasn’t expecting this call, but it’s fun, because I’ll be able to get into a rival car to try and get a victory,” he comments on the #80 Cadillac Chevy Camaro that he will drive a Chevrolet/Buick/ GMC / Donald Thetge.
Lessard competed in two NASCAR Bentet races in 2019 at the Chaudiere Autodrome and Trois-Rivieres with the team of Louis Philippe and Jean-François Dumoulin. “I don’t have much experience with this series, but I will try to bring the experience I gained from running to the States.”
The young driver from Saint-Joseph-de-Beauce points out that the NASCAR Pinty Series is one of his options for this racing season. “My goal is always the same, which is to eventually be able to make a living out of racing, and I know some people do at Pinty’s. However, I won’t hide that my goal is to get back into racing in the States. In the meantime, I will take all the Opportunities for me to keep myself active behind the wheel.”
This year, Rafael will be racing for Larue Motorsports in the “Late Models” category events as well as participating in the Granby with Team Two Brothers Racing. “I can stay active without always having to push up to be able to run in the States,” he says, noting that he’s still very keen to do the jumping again across the border.
“I would love to go back to the United States next year, because, for the pilot, when you get a taste of that, you see that’s where that really happens,” Lessard concluded.