By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
Despite another strong race, Stewart Friesen had to settle for a finish just inside the top-10. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver seemed poised to contend for the win in the M&M’s 200 at Iowa Speedway. However, a series of unfortunate events once again kept Friesen out of victory lane.
In the fierce battle, Crafton attempted to give his teammate, Ben Rhodes, more room. Matt Crafton’s No. 88 Jack Links / Menards Ford F-150 slammed the right-rear of Friesen’s truck on lap 135. The contact appeared to be relatively minor until Crafton’s left front tire went down a few laps later on lap 137. The No. 88 Ford failed to turn. Crafton unintentionally wiped out John Hunter Nemechek, Rhodes, Friesen, and Dalton Sargeant when the tire failed.
Fortunately for Friesen, he slapped the wall lighter than the rest involved in the accident. His team repaired the truck as best they could during the six-minute damaged vehicle policy clock. Without the benefit of another caution, Friesen climbed back inside the top-10 to ultimately finish in ninth.
The end of Stage 2 ultimately put Friesen in position for that wreck to take place. After winning the stage, Friesen ducked back onto pit road a second time in his No. 52 We Build America Chevrolet Silverado for his Halmar Friesen Racing team to tighten the left front lugnuts. The miscue put the Canadian driver deep in the field. In the climb back through the field, Friesen battled hard with Crafton, Rhodes, Nemechek, and Johnny Sauter.
The ninth-place finish moved Friesen up to fourth in the Championship Points Standings, 111-points behind Points Leader Sauter. He is also 30 points ahead of the cutoff for the Playoffs, held by Justin Haley. Friesen now has three Playoff Points after his third stage win this season.
The ninth-place finish is the sixth top-10 finish for Friesen this season and the 11thof his career.
Now Friesen and his Halmar Friesen Racing team will prepare for the Villa Lighting Delivers the Eaton 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park on Saturday, June 23.