Column By: JOHN DOUGLAS/ RPW – TALLADEGA, AL – The 2018 season has been a strong one on all fronts for Stewart Friesen. Wins in his Super DIRTcar Series modified and strong runs in his NASCAR Camping World Truck proved that his driving talents aren’t just tailored to one discipline of the sport. However on the NASCAR side of things the only thing that has not come is a win.
Satuday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway was a big opportunity for Friesen to get that first win with his Halmar-Friesen Racing with GMS Chevrolet. However not only did Friesen not get that first win, his hopes of making it to the final championship round were dashed.
Friesen managed to avoid the usual carnage that comes with restrictor plate racing, however his power plant began giving up in the late going, as a valve spring failed dropping the engine to seven cylinders. This however, did not stop a late race charge from Friesen.
Friesen’s post on twitter post-race confirmed his engine woes.
— Stewart Friesen (@StewartFriesen) October 13, 2018
With only a few circuits remaining, wild driving at the front of the field allowed the Sprakers, N.Y. driver to make one last ditch effort to keep his playoff hopes alive. Temporarily balked by another driver on the backstretch, Friesen was forced below the yellow line. However he backed off the accelerator and never advanced position. Of note, that’s one of the few times we’ve seen a driver make the correct move in regards to that rule, by not advancing their position.
Contact at the front of the field resulted in a final lap melee on the back stretch. Friesen darted to the inside of the track again, however there is no penalty in wreck avoidance. Friesen’s move not only saved his equipment, it resulted in a sixth place finish.
Unfortunately for the up and coming star in the Truck Series ranks, his efforts landed him a mere six points shy of advancing to the next round of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship playoffs. There is however, plenty of opportunity for Friesen to pick up his first ever Truck Series victory in the final four races of the season at Martinsville, Texas, Phoenix and Homestead.