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Raphael Lessard, KBM on pole for All-American 400 at Nashville

The Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 51 team will lead the field to green in the Civil War on Wheels.

Matt Weaver | STS

Upon securing the pole for the All-American 400 with driver Raphael Lessard, Kyle Busch Motorsports crew chief Cody Glick turned around on pit road and said, “now let’s turn our luck around.”

On one hand, Lessard has enjoyed great success in his first season with KBM. He has won the U.S. Short Track Nationals at Bristol Motor Speedway and the Redbud 400 at Anderson Speedway in Indiana. In between those wins have been misfortune, incidents and a lack of execution.

Lessard and Glick achieved the first step of their goal this weekend, posting the fastest time in qualifying at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville with a 18.409 second lap around the historic 0.596-mile track.

Next comes trying to win one of the most prestigious short track races in the country.

“We have had a lot of bad luck the past few weeks so to come here with this kind of competition and good cars, to come here and score the pole, is a weight off my shoulder,” Lessard said after time trials.

Lessard was amongst the second half of the 24 cars that took time on Saturday afternoon. He took the pole from Cole Butcher, who waited over 30 minutes with the pole just to lose a bet he made surrounding time trials.

“I had a bet with my buddy for the banquet for the Maritime Pro Stock Tour,” Butcher said. “If I won the pole, you have to buy my drinks for the night.

“So, it would have meant a lot for that reason, but second is pretty good for a place I haven’t seen before. It’s phenomenal to work with Donnie Wilson so tomorrow would mean a lot for me and for them too.”

Wilson won this race last year, but could only muster a 11th-place result but conceded that he was experimenting with his two-car effort between he and Butcher.

Several heavy-hitters are starting Sunday’s 400 lap race from the back half of the field.

Matthew Craig, Bubba Pollard and Steve Wallace start 12th-14th.

The All-American 400 is scheduled to begin after the 100-lap Pro Late Model race on Sunday. That race is scheduled to begin at 2:00 CT.

The complete starting lineup can be found below.

Pos. # Driver
1 51 Raphael Lessard
2 53 Cole Butcher
3 17 Josh Brock
4 18 Casey Roderick
5 14 Connor Okrzesik
6 51N Stephen Nasse
7 58 Tyler Ankrum
8 14H Carson Hocevar
9 5M Mason Mingus
10 71 Johnny VanDoorn
11 2W Donnie Wilson
12 54 Matt Craig
13 26 Bubba Pollard
14 66 Steve Wallace
15 41 Hunter Jack
16 46 Cole Williams
17 81 Chase Purdy
18 26AA Willie Allen
19 112 Augie Grill
20 26C Chandler Smith
21 114 Kyle Ivey
22 12 Brad Kossow
23 47 Allen Karnes
24 71B Johnny Brazier

Read more Short Track Scene:

Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He is also the associate motorsports editor of Autoweek Magazine and its website, which allows him to cover the highest levels of the sport.

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