By: Shelby Shumake
FORT WORTH, Texas. — After 147 laps of loose race cars and missteps on pit road, Stewart Friesen captured the checkered flag in Texas.
On the final restart of the SpeedyCash.com 220 at Texas Motor Speedway, Friesen completed a successful slide job that allowed him to take the lead from Christian Eckes.
After a late caution, Friesen took the green flag in the second position and battled side by side with the No. 98 of Eckes. The No. 52 Toyota Tundra crossed the finish line 0.11 seconds ahead of Eckes to secure his third career Camping World Truck Series win.
“I made all the mistakes I needed to make in the first two segments,” said Friesen, reflecting on his race, “We had an awesome truck.”
The final stage of the race came littered with cautions and lane choice became the focus of team conversations.
“…Just lane position,” said Eckes, when asked about his second-place finish, “you know, we were able to do the same thing on the bottom and just didn’t have lane position.”
Friesen’s win also guaranteed the Halmar Friesen Racing team a playoff position. This marked the team’s first playoff position earned by a win since 2019.
Pole sitter John Hunter Nemechek finished in the sixth position, after having started at the rear of the field for unapproved adjustments.
The track surface had cooled significantly before the start of the race, which created handling issues throughout the field.
Loose handling ended the night for Derek Kraus, who sustained heavy damage after contact with Ty Majeski. The No. 66 of Majeski got loose under Kraus and sent him into the wall on lap 86.
Corey Heim sustained damage to the nose of his No. 51 Toyota Tundra after attempting to leave Zane Smith room during one of many mistakes on pit road.
Blane Perkins and Todd Bodine were both flagged for speeding penalties. Z Smith was sent to the rear for equipment interference, and Chandler Smith had to pit a second time to tighten the lug nuts on the left rear.
After the final pit stop, Jesse Little was sent to the rear for an uncontrolled tire. Austin Wayne Self was also sent to the rear, but for improper fueling.
C Smith was able to recover and finish eighth behind his Kyle Busch Motorsports teammates Nemechek and Heim, who finished sixth and seventh, respectively.
In the end, no one was able to beat the No. 52 Toyota Tundra as Friesen and his team hopes they can build on this finish next weekend at the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 in Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Featured image from @NASCAR_Trucks on Twitter.