By David Morgan, Associate Editor
Before the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series even hit the track for the first time Thursday morning at Kentucky Speedway, Stewart Friesen and his Halmar Friesen Racing team found themselves in hot water with NASCAR with their primary truck being confiscated by the sanctioning body.
Despite the early setback that would force Friesen to start at the rear of the field in a backup truck previously run at Chicagoland two weeks ago, the driver of the No. 52 Chevrolet found himself in the runner-up spot when the Buckle Up in Your Truck 225 reached its conclusion.
Friesen climbed almost halfway through the field to finish 17th at the end of Stage 1, continuing his march toward the front with a sixth-place finish in Stage 2 before eventually picking his way to second after leader Brett Moffitt ran out of fuel in the closing laps.
The finish marks his eighth top-five and ninth top-10 finish of the season in 13 starts, as well as being his second runner-up finish of the year.
“Trip and the guys battled really, really hard to get this thing ready,” said Friesen. “It still had the rubber all over it from Chicago. It’s just been tough. This has been a backup truck for us for the third race now. It was tough fighting the balance shift on it. We’d have it good and it was good for a couple of laps and it fights us and gets tight and then it’s loose.
“Even in runs there, it’d start being dead, wrecking loose, and then in six laps, it’d turn its head around and start to dig and be awesome. Thanks to Halmar and Chris Larsen. Chris has been like a father figure to me and its so cool to compete at this level and represent him well. Thanks to him. Thanks to Team Chevy for everything they do for us.”
The issue with NASCAR to start the day came on a brand new truck that was being rolled out for the first time this weekend by the team, but it didn’t even get to make a lap before an issue with the area where the rear firewall and the floorboard meet caught the ire of the sanctioning body and led to the truck getting taken away.
Any penalties for the truck being confiscated are expected to be handed out early next week.