Canadian Raphaël Lessard Takes on ‘World’s Fastest Half-Mile’ in ARCA Return

Venturini Motorsports

Concord, North Carolina (August 2, 2017) – Fifteen year-old Raphaël Lessard will take over Venturini Motorsports’ (VMS) No.25 Musselman’s BIG Cup Apple Sauce Toyota Camry when the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards returns to the ‘World’s Fastest Half Mile’ for Sunday’s Winchester ARCA 200 at Winchester Speedway.

Raphael Lessard ARCA RacingFor Lessard, a native of Saint-Joseph-de-Beauce, Quebec Canada, Sunday’s 200-lap event will represent his second career series start – both coming with VMS. The young teen made his series debut three months ago finishing 13th at Salem Speedway.

“I’m feeling good having this opportunity to return with Venturini Motorsports and my crew chief Dave Leiner,” said Lessard. “I’m not putting too much pressure on myself this time around in the ARCA Series. I’ve got a lot to learn still in this series – I’ll take it lap-by-lap and do my best. If I do what I’m capable of doing, great results will follow.”

Winchester Speedway is no stranger to Lessard – the highly touted teen competed for the win at the half-mile bull ring during last season’s ARCA/CRA Series Winchester 400. The Winchester 400 is considered one of the crown jewels of super late model races in the country.

“I can’t wait to get back to Winchester. We went there for the first time last season and almost won the (Winchester) 400. I was in control and leading with five laps to go when a caution came out. Things got crazy on the restart and I got wrecked by Stephen Nasse who went on to win – still finished 6th – but it was a bad moment.”

Raphael Lessard ARCA RacingLessard, racing at both Bristol Motor Speedway and Salem Speedway earlier in the season, compares Winchester more too Bristol than anyplace else.

“Winchester is a lot like Bristol – except faster. Bristol’s surface is wider and the car seems slower in the corners. At Winchester the corners are tight and it’s more of a one groove track, you basically run all out against the wall in each corner. But as the race goes on I bet you’ll see the groove move down in turns 3 and 4 – you’ll need to make that work for a shot at the win.”

Lessard will join VMS teammates Christian Eckes and Zane Smith this weekend at Winchester.

Moving to the states and making a name for himself, Lessard jumped onto the short track scene winning four CARS Late Model Stock Tour events en route to the CARS championship last season driving for David Gilliland Racing (DGR).

Lessard has one CARS Tour win on the season coming at Hickory Motor Speedway and grabbed pole position at Bristol racing his super late model Toyota for DGR.

Media Coverage
The Winchester ARCA 200 will be tape-delayed on MAVTV, airing initially August 19 at 10 p.m. Eastern, and again on August 26 at 10 p.m. Follow live coverage of all the ARCA on-track activities at Winchester with Live audio, timing and scoring and Live chat at Saturday and Sunday.

For more information on Raphaël Lessard visit or @Raphael_Lessard on Twitter.


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Musselman’s was founded in Biglerville, PA, in 1907 by Christian and Emma Musselman. The original plants in Biglerville and Gardners, PA, provided much needed canned goods for the servicemen during WWI including corn, tomatoes, and of course apples. They focused on the processing of the abundant local fruit in the area, producing apple sauce, apple juice, and their now-famous Musselman’s Apple Butter.

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Venturini Motorsports (VMS), fielding cars for over 30-years in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, is one of the premier NASCAR driver development programs in the country. Multiple team championships and consistent on-track success, VMS has evolved into one of the most recognizable names in motorsports. Since 2007, VMS has assisted in the career development of notable NASCAR drivers such as Joey Logano, Erik Jones, William Byron, Justin Allgaier, Alex Bowman, Christopher Bell, Noah Gragson, Ryan Blaney, Brennan Poole, Daniel Suarez, and Brandon Jones. Over the years the Venturini name has become synonymous with modern-day racing in America. In 2012, the Venturini family was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame and now find themselves enshrined with such sports icons as Joe DiMaggio, Mario Andretti, Vince Lombardi, Tommy Lasorda and Rocky Marciano.