In our final piece of the four-part series analyzing the drivers competing in the Championship, Speedway Media takes a look at Stewart Friesen’s chances of winning his first-ever NASCAR Series championship. The Canadian native Truck Series driver’s career has really taken off after going full-time in 2018. Friesen has raced with Halmar Racing since their beginnings at Eldora in 2016 in what was then, supposed to be for fun. From that point on, the team has grown to become title contenders and find themselves in a prime position.
Stewart Friesen – Friesen could be considered an underdog heading into the championship race at Homestead. Like Chastain, the Canadian will also be challenging for his first-ever Truck Series title.
How He Got Here: You could very well say Friesen has started the hard way and earned his way up since 2016. In what started out as doing this for fun, things got serious in 2017 when he competed on a part-time basis but it wasn’t all that easy. The Halmar team raced in the first seven races, but challenges arose for the team. The team withdrew from the next two races at Gateway and Iowa, before racing off and on for the rest of the season. From 2018 on, Friesen and Halmar became connected with GMS for a technical alliance, which would also help his playoff chances. Many have come to know, it’s either been win or crash for the Canadian in 2019 and began to wonder if he would ever get his first win. Finally back in August, Friesen got that win crossed off by winning in his dirt backyard at the famed Eldora Speedway. Then came the playoff race at Bristol, where he finished fourth. The Halmar driver pointed his way through the next few rounds, keeping his championship chances alive. By being consistent, Friesen had built up a sizeable points lead to where no matter what happened, he would be locked in. But the Canadian was hungry to win another one. So he did and with that, clinched a spot in the Championship 4 for the first time in his career.
Championship Chances: Friesen has competed at Homestead for the past four years and secured a best finish of fourth in last year’s race. But, he’ll have to eliminate the problems that have plagued him from the start of his career. Statistically, this has been Friesen’s best career year to date, earning two wins, 12 top fives and 16 top-10 finishes with one pole.
Final Analysis: Friesen will have the whole dirt world on his shoulders watching Friday night’s race at Homestead. When not racing Trucks, the Halmar driver can be found racing dirt cars almost every night of the week, even on an off-weekend. This may be his best shot at winning the title currently, as he has said that he doesn’t have any plans yet for next year. Winning a title could help those chances, but will it provide a distraction during the race? Only time will tell.