This weekend’s break from the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series meant Niagara-on-the-Lake native Stewart Friesen could turn his attention to the stock car circuit as well as his charity work.
And what a weekend it was, as Friesen captured two chequered flags and raised $30,000 for the Crossroads Centre for Children in Schenectady, New York.
“The school deals with all sorts of kids on the autism spectrum,” explains Friesen from his home base in Sprakers, New York. “That school was very important to us in our life with Parker. It was a great day Sunday, we had a band, a dunk tank, some bounce houses for the kids and a great chicken barbecue to go with it.”
His Halmar truck teammate Todd Bodine and his wife Janet joined Friesen, his wife Jessica and his father Jamie at Fonda Speedway for the event. Bodine, a NASCAR mainstay, even raced a modified on the dirt track, something that is a bit out of the ordinary for him.
“He grew up racing pavement modifieds in the southern tier of New York,” says Friesen. “But he moved south pretty early in his career to pursue his NASCAR deal. He knows Fonda, but he had never been there before. It was great to have him here.”
Friesen captured first place Sunday, with Jessica finishing fourth. That win followed another chequered flag he won the previous evening at Utica-Rome Speedway in a non-stop 30-lap event. That victory was his 61st at Utica-Rome.
The break from the truck series meant less travelling for Stewart and his Halmar-Friesen team.
“It’s been pretty crazy,” he says with a sigh. “We went eight weeks straight, 10 out of 12 the past three months. It was a nice breath of fresh air to have that break.”
This Saturday he’s back behind the wheel of his number 52 Toyota truck at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. And next week the Truck Series playoff begins in Indianapolis. Friesen is currently fourth in the points standings for the series.