MOORESVILLE, N.C. - Fourteen-year-old Canadian up-and-comer Raphael Lessard will join David Gilliland Racing's (DGR) driver development roster, debuting with his new team Aug. 28 through 30 at the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) North Super Late Model event at Oxford Plains Speedway.
The Quebec native joins the team after making 12 starts in the PASS North SLM 2015 season. He currently sits seventh in the point standings. Lessard will drive the FRL Express No. 71 in the Oxford 250 at the Oxford, Maine, 3/8-mile paved oval.
The young driver will also compete in the PASS North event at Autodrome Chaudiere in Quebec on Sept. 12, the CARS Tour event at Myrtle Beach (S.C.) on Sept. 19 and the PASS North Fall Foliage Festival at Oxford Plains on Oct. 4. Seth Smith will serve as Lessard's crew chief.
"David Gilliland Racing is known for being a top-level organization with a lot of success," Lessard. "I am very excited that we are able to work together to help me grow in my career."
Lessard joins DGR teammate Todd Gilliland, 15-year-old son of team owner and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Gilliland. The third-generation driver in the Gilliland clan has four wins in various series since advancing to stock car racing in late 2013, including a win in his first ARCA Racing Series start, making him the youngest winner in series history.
"We set out to find really strong up-and-coming talent this year, and we definitely found that in Raphael," team owner Gilliland said. "He's already made a name for himself in Quebec for his talent at such a young age, and we're going to do our best to help him succeed here in the States."
DGR is owned and operated by David Gilliland and his wife, Michelle. The Mooresville, N.C.-based team offers a driver development program, fielding entries in Late Model and Super Late Model competition. The team has run a successful program since 1998, racing in weekly division events at the grassroots level to regional touring series at asphalt and dirt tracks around the country.
For additional information about DGR's driver development program, contact Chris Janosko at [email protected] or 928-499-0402.
-David Gilliland Racing Press Release & Photo