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Raphaël Lessard opened a new contract for Christmas.

The 2016 CARS Tour Super Late Model champion will join Kyle Busch Motorsports for the 2018 season. The 16-year-old has competed for David Gilliland Racing for the past two seasons, winning a championship and multiple races across the Carolinas and Virginias.

He will compete in 19-20 races driving a KBM Super Late Model. His first race is expected to be CRA Speedfest at Watermelon Capital Speedway in Cordele, Georgia. Additional details will be announced after the start of the New Year.

“This is fantastic news, it’s definitely the best Christmas present I could have hoped for,” Lessard said. “I thank my parents, Jack Irving and Toyota TRD, sponsors and our investors group. Without them none of this would be possible. My parents are making so many sacrifices for me. In addition to saying thank you to them, I think I will have to go shopping with my sisters and find two gifts that will make them happy.”

Lessard essentially replaced Cole Rouse as the full-time KBM SLM driver. Rouse won CARS Tour races at Orange County and Concord en route to the 2017 championship. He recently announced a return to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West with Bill McAnally Racing.

Lessard also made three ARCA Racing Series starts last season for Venturini Motorsports. An increased slate of national/regional touring appearances is also on the French Canadian’s radar for the upcoming season.

Spokeman Robert Desrosiers said “details of his participation in other series will be finalized in the coming month with reason to believe there will be good news on this front as well.”

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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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