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Following three straight top-10 starts and a top-five finish entering Martinsville Speedway, Stewart Friesen kept the numbers climbing in Saturday’s TruNoth Global 250.
Scoring the pole in his No. 52 Halmar Chevrolet, Friesen kept his truck clean to come home fifth. And from the start, Friesen stayed tough on the commonly feared outside lane, eventually losing the lead to Kyle Busch after a five-lap side-by-side battle.
For the long run, however, the fight cost Friesen.
“We hung on there and overheated our stuff,” Friesen said. “When I finally cleared him back, I just skated up and he got back to us.”
Despite the pole speed, Friesen lacked grip throughout the day and as unable to stay in touch with race winner Busch and others in the top three.
“We were just a little free all day, that’s what we fought,” he said. “That’s what really bit us in the ass in the end for getting a better finish.”
When the team fell behind on their adjustments, Friesen knew the day wasn’t his to score win No. 1 in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series.
“Today, probably 50 pounds of right-rear spring [would have helped],” he said. “That’s how it goes. We’re really firing, it’ll come. We’re competing and running in the top five, that’s all I can ask for. It’s a dream come true to race at this level, so I enjoy every minute of it.”
With back-to-back top fives now in 2019, Friesen leaves Virginia fourth in driver points.
“We made a bunch of points, salvaged a top five, getting the pole was cool,” he said. “It wasn’t our day to win one but when we do execute a full day, we’ll win a race. We just haven’t done that yet.
“It’s a well-rounded [team]. A big thanks to GMS Racing and their fab shop. We’re bringing fast trucks to the track. We have a really good piece for Texas next week so I look forward to that.”
About the author
Growing up in Easton, Pa., Zach Catanzareti has grown his auto racing interest from fandom to professional. Joining Frontstretch in 2015, Zach enjoys nothing more than being at the track, having covered his first half-season of 18 races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2017. With experience behind the wheel, behind the camera and in the media center, he thrives on being an all-around reporter.
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