Stewart Friesen Fights off Competition for DIRTcar 358 Modified Win
Story By: Joe Grabianoski/Super DIRTcar Series
FONDA, NY – September 21, 2018 – Stewart Friesen found himself in a familiar place on Friday, Victory Lane at Fonda Speedway. However, this win was a little different from any of the others. This time Stewart Friesen picked up his first career DIRTcar 358 Modified tour win. Friesen passed Bobby Varin midway through the race and successfully fended off Varin’s challenges. Varin finished second while veteran driver Pat Ward crossed the finish line in third place.
With a time-limit set by Mother Nature, DIRTcar officials and track workers propitiously sped the show along to beat the heavy storms rolling through New York. In Heat Race action, the Gypsum Racing team took both wins. Pat Ward drag-raced Stewart Friesen down the front stretch and into turn one to take the lead and win for Heat Race 1. In the second Heat Race, Larry Wight left the field behind for to complete the Gypsum sweep.
Bobby Varin and Stewart Friesen brought the field to the green flag for the 60-lap Feature event. Varin jumped out into an early lead and caught up to lapped traffic. Then it was 10 laps into the race and Friesen began closing in for the kill. Two laps in a row Friesen took runs at Varin but the no. 76 kept him at bay. On lap 17 the no. 44 got under Varin and completed the winning pass down the front stretch.
In Victory Lane Stewart Friesen commented, “It was hammer down. My Dad drew us a good pill to start us up front. Bobby got going there with a good lead and I kinda thought it was game over. He got bottled up by lapped traffic and we were able to slip by and hold him off.”
It was a fast, clean race with some heavy-hitters racing hard mid-pack. Matt Sheppard moved himself up to third and was pressuring second-place running Bobby Varin before pulling off with a mechanical failure. Heat Race winner Pat Ward benefited from the breakdown and finished third. Finally, Ransomville Speedway and Land of Legends Raceway Track Champion Erick Rudolph figured out the tricky Fonda Speedway oval well enough to take fourth.
The Southern Region DIRTcar 358 Modified season has concluded and the Northern Region finishes their schedule tomorrow before the combined events take over. The Northern Region goes for 100 laps at Autodrome Drummond on Saturday, September 22. The first combined race is at Utica-Rome Speedway to kick off NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week on Tuesday, October 2.
Feature (60 Laps)
1. 44-Stewart Friesen ; 2. 76-Bobby Varin ; 3. 42p-Pat Ward ; 4. 25-Erick Rudolph ; 5. 22J-Jeremy Wilder ; 6. 32r-Ronnie Davis ; 7. 111-Demetrios Drellos ; 8. 2RJ-Ronnie Johnson ; 9. 83x-Tim Sears ; 10. 98-Ryan Bartlett ; 11. 16-Aaron Jacobs ; 12. 121-Matt Sheppard ; 13. 55-Rich Ricci ; 14. 99L-Larry Wight ; 15. 1J-Rocky Warner ; 16. 19M-Jessey Mueller