Toyota Racing – Raphael Lessard
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LAS VEGAS (February 21, 2020) – Kyle Busch Motorsports driver Raphael Lessard was made available to media at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
RAPHAEL LESSARD, No. 4 Mobil 1 Toyota Tundra, Joe Gibbs Racing
What have you been able to learn after practice for tonight’s race?
“I know my Mobil 1 Toyota Tundra is pretty fast. It’s just going to be about me completing all the laps and trying to get better and learning something different every single lap to get faster. I feel like my truck is good, we just have to be better. I have a lot to learn. It’s the same way I looked at going to Daytona. I look at coming here the same way, and Daytona went well. Hopefully this weekend goes as good.”
What is it like to work for Kyle Busch?
“It’s a lot of fun. I can ask him advice – call him, text him before every race we go to. I think he likes it when a driver asks him for advice and wants to get better, and that’s what I want to do. We have to perform because we’re in the best equipment and we have a fast truck and we want to perform, but we also want to be realistic and learn. I’m new to all this stuff, so we want to get better and study as much as I can. I study before I get here with the sim at Toyota, they have a great sim we can use. I have done everything I could, now it’s just about me getting used to it during the race. I’m sure we’re going to be able to gain some stage points for the championship.”
How would you rate your Daytona race?
“I think it was better than I expected. The last half of the race, we were in the top-three the whole time. I felt like I learned a lot. The bumps were good, my pushing was good, but it was just at the end it was one of those racing deals where someone side drafted me at the wrong spot off of (turn) four where we get the lightest all race long and it was really hard to keep straight. It’s part of the learning process.”
How was your first time on the track earlier?
“It was a lot of fun. It seems like by yourself, it’s like cruising on the highway. You’re wide open everywhere and it’s a lot of fun. When I got behind people the first time, you kind of see – you think your truck is really good when you’re by yourself but when you get behind people, what’s not good about it will get way worse. I felt like we were a little bit too free, but I think that’s what Kyle (Busch) felt. We went over everything with Kyle after practice and I think we learned a lot. I’m just here to learn and try to complete every lap.”
Are you comfortable heading into tonight’s race?
“I think we can be competitive. Like the first stage at Daytona we fell back and then came back. I learned a lot the first half of the race and then at the end we were really good. I think we’ll see the same way here tonight. We’ll go out there the first part of the race and learn and then the second half, try to apply what we learn. I know with every lap I’m going to learn something new. It’s going to be fun because I’m going to have to get used to mile-and-a-half tracks because we have enough of them on the schedule. Hopefully it’s not too hard on me.”
Are you trying to pace yourself with results?
“Well, we always want to win, but we want to be realistic and just learn. I think with experience, the more experience I get, we’re going to be able to have great results. But also, I’ll take the first half of the season to learn to be able to perform the other half. That’s where it all matters around the end of the year to get in the playoff and have great result.”
Do you think you can get in the playoff?
“I think have a good enough truck to be in it – a good enough Toyota Tundra. It just has to be about me trying to learn and learn fast.”
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