Stewart Friesen had one day on Thursday (July 11) at Kentucky Speedway. But when the checkered flag flew, the native of Canada got another finalist.
Friesen's nightmare day began before opening the Gander Outdoors Truck Series practice when NASCAR confiscated the No. 52 Chevrolet because he did not like the way the location of the rear firewall was in relation to the rear clip. That forced the Halmar Frisen Racing team to deploy the backup truck.
The two practice sessions were unsatisfactory for Friesen. The classification was even worse, although by design, to turn around more slowly in the session knowing that No. 52 would have to start at the back of the field. But the initial stage was not designed, it only ran until 17º.
A second stage full of caution allowed Friesen to score five points to finish sixth. But the third stage is where the No. 52 shone, playing the right strategy to get the second place for the sixth time in his career.
"We fought against that, that was a battle," Friesen said after the race. "We started the race and we were completely loose, we were back in the 15th to the 20th position. I worked on it, I got it decent, I was able to prevent a lot of accidents and crazy things from happening in the middle part of the race … It was a bit in the morning and afternoon, and I learned a lot today, that's for sure. "
During the last two calendar years, Halmar Friesen Racing has had a technical alliance with GMS Racing. Ultimately, No. 52 receives all its GMS chassis.
Due to the confiscated truck, Friesen is not sure what to think, since Team No. 52 will likely face a points penalty early next week.
"It says a lot about Tripp Bruce [crew chief] and my six boys is what he says, "Friesen added." The rest of the organization, I do not know what he says about it. They put us in a bad place with that truck and [I’m] I regret that.
"My boys break their butts to put these things together. They work on what they get and it is what it is. We can not pick up the trucks that we drive, we just have to run them. Tripp has had my best interest all year. He has been like an older brother. That relationship has been very good, it has been up and down, but after today I know it is on my side ".
Despite finishing second, Friesen believed that the No. 52 truck would have won if he had played the same pit race that the winner of the Tyler Ankrum race played. With the victory of Ankrum, Friesen is now seventh on the playoff grid, although he ranks second in the overall standings.
With the possibility of a points penalty next week, it could make Friesen's chances of making the postseason a bit more challenging.
"We have to win, that's all," he said. "The seconds are not good enough, we've been running backup trucks for three weeks in a row [and that] It's not good enough. Tripp fought for me all year long and I appreciate it. "
The series has a week off before heading to Pocono Raceway (July 27). In a couple of openings on the track, Friesen has a better fourth result.