ROSSBURG, Ohio — Tuesday evening, Stewart Friesen proved the old adage among racers correct that track time is king, jumping right out of his big-block modified and shooting to the top of the board in the first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice session at Eldora Speedway.
Friesen posted a best lap of 19.547 seconds (92.086 mph) around the half-mile dirt oval early in the session, and it held up all the way through as the track slowed down, keeping the No. 52 Halmar International Chevrolet at the head of the scoreboard.
The 33-year-old Canadian is doing double-duty this week at Eldora, and survived the opening 55-minute session despite a spin in Turns 3 and 4 just before he set his flying lap.
“We’re just fine,” Friesen said. “No damage to the truck, just a loop. She’s fast, though. I’ve been excited all day and this has been a lot of fun so far. Busy, but a ton of fun.”
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular and former dirt late model driver Ty Dillon landed second on the board for MDM Motorsports, logging a best lap of 19.657 seconds (91.570 mph) in the No. 99 K&L Ready Mix Chevrolet Silverado.
A trio of Toyotas completed the top five, with Truck regular and reigning Chili Bowl Midget Nationals champion Christopher Bell going third-fastest (19.697/91.384) in the No. 4 Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
Bell is the 2015 winner of the Eldora Dirt Derby and finished runner-up in last year’s event.
ThorSport Racing teammates Ben Rhodes (19.771/91.042) and the returning Rico Abreu (19.874/90.571) were fourth and fifth, respectively.
Points leader Johnny Sauter, Chase Briscoe, Matt Crafton, Noah Gragson and Caleb Holman completed the top 10.
Off-road and Stadium Super Truck ace Sheldon Creed was 14th despite two spins, while defending USAC Silver Crown champion Chris Windom landed 19th-quick.
Regarded as one of the pre-race favorites, 2015 fast qualifier Bobby Pierce ended up 23rd at the end of first practice.
Final practice for the Eldora Dirt Derby kicks off at 9 p.m. local time.
Full practice results can be viewed on the next page…