By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
Chris Larsen and Stewart Friesen have announced that they will campaign the full 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season, as well as the formation of Halmar Friesen Racing. Friesen will pilot the No. 52 Chevrolet Silverado, with Halmar International as the primary sponsor.
Veteran NASCAR owner and crew chief, Tommy Baldwin Jr., will handle the day-to-day operations of the new team. Baldwin said he was “proud of the partnership” on social media.
In 2016, Friesen made his NCWTS debut at Eldora Speedway where he started 12th and finished in 28th after getting caught up in an accident. He ran a total of six races in 2016, with a best finish of 13th at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Friesen, a native of Niagara-on-the-Lake Ontario, is a decorated standout of Dirt Modifieds and Sprint Cars. Friesen finished second in Super DIRTcar Series points in 2016, 328 points behind Champion Matt Sheppard.
On his way to the second-place finish in the standings, Friesen picked up his fifth NAPA Super DIRT Week win at Oswego Speedway. In total, he scored five wins in the Super DIRTcar Series in 2016. Friesen has over 240 victories in his dirt racing career stretching back to 1999.
To say that Friesen is looking forward to the upcoming opportunity would be an understatement.
“I’m super excited to be part of the Halmar Friesen Racing team,” Friesen said. “We did a bit of racing last year to get our feet wet on asphalt, and we were pleased with our success. Everything we have going on with Tommy (Baldwin) is exciting. It’s great to have his experience guiding our team so we can hit the ground running in Daytona.”
On top of the pit box for Friesen will be veteran crew chief Trip Bruce. Bruce has 10 career victories as a crew chief in the NCWTS. He also led Johnny Benson to a Championship in 2008. More recently, Bruce has been working with Baldwin in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
Larsen, owner of Halmar International, is also excited for the upcoming season with Friesen.
“We got our feet wet at Eldora last season mostly because we wanted to have some fun. After that, we ran several more races to get a sense of where we were,” Larsen said. “When an opportunity came to work with Tommy and it was a no brainer for us. Because of the relationship with Tommy we have committed to running the whole season. We know we will be prepared, we have good equipment and a great driver.”
Friesen and his team will now look ahead to the 2017 NCWTS Season opener at Daytona International Speedway in February.