SQR Development announced the news on January 20 with a press release. The team confirmed that Lessard will take over the No. 87 Toyota Supra for select races in the 2022 season. The Quebec native, who has competed in multiple other series, will take on the Xfinity Series for the first time. Though SQR Development has not revealed any dates on his schedule.
“As a team just getting going this year, having someone like Raphael Lessard drive some races for us is a pretty big deal,” said team owner JC Stout in a statement. “We are looking forward to working with him and helping us out with his prior experience. He’s been to Victory Lane and has the drive and passion we are needing.
“We purchased all of our chassis from Joe Gibbs Racing and are working on them in our shop in Mooresville. Like any team, we are looking for partnerships on our No. 87 Toyota in the 10 or so races we’re going to run this season.”
Lessard Has a Previous National Series Win
While he hasn’t competed in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Lessard has previous experience in another national series. He has made 35 starts in the Camping World Truck Series with one trip to Victory Lane.
Lessard made his Truck Series debut in 2019 with five starts. He joined Kyle Busch Motorsports for races at Martinsville Speedway, Dover International Speedway, and Bristol Motor Speedway. He also made two starts for David Gilliland Racing — Iowa Speedway and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Lessard made his return to the Truck Series in 2020 for a full-time run in the No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra. He started all 23 races and secured his first career win during the October 3 trip to Talladega Superspeedway, only his second-ever time competing on a superspeedway in the Truck Series.
John Hunter Nemechek took over the No. 4 KBM Toyota Tundra in 2021, resulting in a regular-season championship trophy and five wins. Lessard, on the other hand, joined GMS Racing for seven races. He took over the No. 24 Chevrolet Silverado and posted a season-best finish of third in the Bristol Motor Speedway dirt race.
Stout Announced the Team in December 2021
Stout, a veteran of both the Xfinity Series and Truck Series, issued a press release on December 20 and unveiled his new team. He announced that the team would aim to make 10-12 starts in the Xfinity Series and that April 2 at Richmond Raceway was the expected first race on the schedule.
Along with revealing that he had purchased some equipment from Joe Gibbs Racing, Stout also said that the team would use Pro Motor Engines and that former crew chief Rick Ren will serve as a consultant for the team.
Ren has extensive experience working as a crew chief in NASCAR. He sat atop the pit box for 354 Truck Series races, 139 Xfinity Series races, and 30 Cup Series races while working with such names as Ward Burton, Johnny Benson Jr., Ron Hornaday Jr., and Austin Wayne Self. He also won two Truck Series championships while partnered with Hornaday (2007, 2009).