Despite a Lap-1 penalty forcing him to the back of the field, Stewart Friesen, driver of the #52 Chevrolet for Halmar Friesen Racing in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Trucks Series, rallied back to take the lead with 44 laps remaining to win the Lucas Oil 150 at ISM Raceway. Friesen’s win locks him into the Championship 4 competing for the series championship next Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“It was a great race car,” said Friesen. “We were able to pass them all, pass them all clean. Great race car, great race team. We’ll all celebrate tomorrow, and then it’s game on.”
Friesen was penalized at the start of the race for jumping the start and crossing the line ahead of the pole-sitter, forcing him to go to the back of the 32-truck field. Clearly the dominant truck this evening, Friesen quickly moved up in the field, finishing ninth in the first stage.
Following the fifth and final caution, Friesen charged ahead of Brandon Jones and Ben Rhodes for the lead and held them off for the remaining 44 laps of the race. Jones made a move to the inside of Friesen with five laps remaining, but failed to get to the front, allowing Friesen to pull ahead and distance himself over the final two miles.
Competing for the series title as part of the Championship 4 with Friesen include defending champion Brett Moffitt, who finished 10th this evening, Ross Chastain after finishing 8th and two-time series champion Matt Crafton, who finished 6th. Crafton came into the penultimate race in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs nine points behind Austin Hill, who was eliminated this evening, missing the cut by just six points. Tyler Ankrum was also eliminated after suffering early damage to his truck and finishing 26th.
Saturday’s doubleheader at ISM Raceway will feature the Desert Diamond Casino West Valley 200 NASCAR Xfinity Series Semi-Final as well as the Arizona Lottery 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Championship. Fans can get their grandstand seats and INfield access for Saturday by visiting ISMRaceway.com, by phone at 1-866-408-RACE (7223), or in person at the ISM Raceway ticket office. The Desert Diamond Casino West Valley 200 is scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m. local time. Following the conclusion of the race, ISM Raceway will host an Open House for the Arizona Lottery 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Championship at approximately 4:00 p.m., providing race fans and the local community with free admission into the facility. In lieu of the price of admission for the Arizona Lottery 100, fans are encouraged to donate non-perishable food items or new toys to support the Valley of the Sun United Way.