TRUCKS: Friesen Scores Maiden Keystone Light Pole Award At Eldora

Jacob Seelman Trucks 0 Comments

Stewart Friesen set the fastest time in qualifying at Eldora Speedway on Wednesday. (Jacob Seelman photo)

ROSSBURG, Ohio — Stewart Friesen’s dirt track prowess and track time at Eldora Speedway paid dividends in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying Wednesday evening, with the Canadian earning his first career Keystone Light Pole Award.

Friesen, who went out 14th in the qualifying order, set the fastest lap in two-lap time trials and toured the half-mile dirt oval in 20 seconds even (90.000 mph).

The performance puts the Tuesday practice leader and double-duty driver on the pole for the first qualifying race, coming up at 7 p.m. ET (FS2).

“This is pretty cool, but at the same time, it’s just part of getting the job done, you know?” Friesen said of setting fast time. “It’s only one part of our night. The big one is later on. We are up front in the heat race, hopefully we’ll keep our nose clean, keep the quarters on it and we’ll run 150 clean laps in the feature.”

“So far all our hard work’s paid off. We got it to rotate good (through the center of the corner) but still had good forward drive off the corner. The Halmar team has worked hard to prepare for this race, but there’s a lot more to be done before we can celebrate in victory lane. It’s a good place to start, though.”

Friesen said the extra track time he’s gotten this week from also running his Super DIRTcar Series big-block modified has only helped his efforts behind the wheel of the No. 52 Halmar International Chevrolet.

“(Running the modified) gives you the lay of the land a bit, and lets you search around to find the spots where there’s bite and where it’s a little bit slick. Any time you can get out on a race track it’s beneficial. I’d have liked to have been a little farther forward in the modified, but 12th to sixth isn’t bad, and now we’ll try to win a truck race.”

Chase Briscoe landed second-fastest in a backup truck, after his primary No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford F-150 was destroyed in a violent airborne crash during final practice Tuesday night.

Briscoe posted a best lap of 20.138 seconds (89.383 mph) on his run.

“It didn’t honestly feel like it was that good of a lap,” Briscoe said. “It was really slimy still when I went out there. We’re a little off right now, but I think we’ll have a good truck for the heat races. It worked out for us.”

Kaz Grala was third in a GMS Racing Chevrolet, followed by 2015 event winner Christopher Bell and rookie Noah Gragson in a pair of Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyotas.

All five drivers will start on the poles of their respective qualifying races.

Justin Shipley, Matt Crafton, Ryan Truex, Caleb Holman and Rico Abreu completed the top 10.

Two-time Stadium Super Truck Series champion Sheldon Creed was 19th-quick on his run; Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular Ty Dillon landed 20th; and pre-race favorite Bobby Pierce was 21st-quick.

Creed will roll from fourth in qualifying race four; Dillon slots in fourth for the fifth qualifying race and Pierce will line up fifth in the first qualifying race.

Full qualifying results can be viewed on the next page…

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