Friesen Finds the Top Side of Tri-County Race Track
to Score $3,000 Return to Racing Win!
Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled
By Sunoco made a wild return to racing at Tri-County Racetrack,
with Stewart Friesen completing a “spin and win”
to grab the checkered in the Hurlock Auto and Speed 40-lap feature
event while picking up the $3,000 payday.
“It was an awesome race car,” mentioned Friesen.
“Thanks to Halmar, thanks to all my guys. There is a lot
of great things going on. Halmar is delivering food and trying
to raise money to help out people in need. People Upstate (New
York) and in the Northeast hopefully get some satisfaction watching
these cars down here in the south. This is awesome.”
The event was streamed live via Dirt Track Digest TV, kicking
off a three-race swing through the Carolinas by the STSS.
Billy Pauch Jr., set the pace at the start of the first Modified
feature in two and a half months, with Tyler Siri and Larry
Wight battling for second.
Cautions were the name of the game early, with a lap two pileup
collecting Mike Maresca, Alan Johnson, and Danny Bouc.
A second major pile-up on lap three was triggered by a rare
mistake by Friesen, as the Halmar No. 44 spun and collected
Allison Ricci, Erick Rudolph, Tyler Dippel, and sent Richie
Pratt on his side.
“I feel awful,” commented Friesen. “I just
got in the slime in three. I got in there and it got right out
from underneath me. We tore up some cars. I apologize for that.
That was my mistake. I’ll be helping a lot of people bang
tin tomorrow morning.”
Following another wreck and restart on lap seven, Jared Umbenhauer
launched from fourth to second, past Siri and Wight. Umbenhauer
immediately pressured Pauch for the top spot, with Pauch high
and Umbenhauer low.
By lap 15, Pauch had finally put a car-length between himself
and Umbenhauer, turning attention to a charging Friesen.
By the time the yellow flew on lap 21 for Bouc slowing, Friesen
had cracked the top five from the tail.
On the restart, Friesen darted by Wight and Umbenhauer to grab
second, putting up a heavy challenge on Pauch in an instant.
The pair went to war, with Friesen clawing down low to remain
side-by-side with Pauch for laps on end.
High-side momentum kept Pauch out front, with the incessant
battle halting on lap 30 for Alan Johnson slowing.
Wight and Umbenhauer were having a battle of their own for
third behind Pauch and Friesen, but this battle ended with Umbenhauer
heading pit-side with a flat under the yellow.
On the 10-to-go restart, Friesen slid under Pauch in the first
set of turns to snag the lead. With clean track, Friesen moved
up to the top-side previously occupied by Pauch, but Pauch didn’t
let Friesen walk away, remaining within a couple car-lengths
in the final laps.
“He was tough,” said Friesen. “He had the
preferred line up ripping the top. Mr. Cook (Ray Cook, speedway
promoter) told us all night long that you ‘got to get
up there on the top.’ We finally got up there down in
one and two. It was an awesome race track. We were able to get
off of turn on that second to last restart.”
With two to go, Maresca slowed with a flat tire, restacking
the pack. A flawless restart by Friesen set him up for success,
leaving Pauch to fend off Wight. After a wide-open 40 laps,
it was Friesen winning the Short Track Super Series re-opener
at Tri-County Racetrack.
Wight wrestled the second position away from Pauch Jr., as
they came to line. The Phoenix, N.Y., driver was able to make
the low lane go nearly as well as Friesen did up top.
“I could see Billy was having some problems,” commented
Wight. “I could see the flames coming out his car. I could
see he was having an ignition issue or something. I was able
to hit a couple good laps when he was he was trying to hold
on. We were able to race the line there. It was really fun.”
New Jersey native Pauch Jr., was disappointed with the final
spot on the podium after leading much of the race. He had some
ignition issues which hurt is efforts late in the race.
“I would say about lap 10 the ignition box started going
out,” cited Pauch. “I couldn’t go down the
straightaways at all. I just drove my butt off, for the lack
of a better word. I had to keep it wound up. That one’s
tough. I thought we had the best car. I wanted to win that one
Johnson, who started fourth, crossed the line fourth with Andy
Bachetti coming from 25th to fifth.
The Short Track Super Series “Return to Racing”
is presented by Hurlock Auto & Speed Supply, Mike’s
Racing Heads, Competition Carburetion, St. Lawrence Radiology,
Evergreen Fuels Inc., K&B Auto, The Scumgang, Midstate Recycling,
Manmiller Electric and a host of special award, bonus and purse
Racing continues at Tri-County Racetrack on Friday night at
7 p.m., before the series moves to Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney,
S.C., on Saturday. All events are available for viewing exclusively
on Dirt Track Digest TV.
Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled
By Sunoco Modified Feature Finish (40 laps): STEWART
FRIESEN, Larry Wight, Billy Pauch Jr., Danny Johnson, Andy Bachetti,
Billy Decker, Tyler Siri, Alex Yankowski, Danny Creeden, Danny
Tyler, Brett Tonkin, Jared Umbenhauer, J.R. Hurlburt, Michael
Maresca, Alan Johnson, Allison Ricci, Danny Bouc, David Schilling,
Anthony Perrego, Dillon Groover, Jeff Strunk, Richie Pratt Jr,
Billy Van Pelt, Tyler Dippel, Erick Rudolph, H.J. Bunting, Matt
Sheppard, Peter Britten
Did Not Start: Jessica Friesen, Jeremy Smith,
03 Dante Curtis
2) 22 Tucker Anderson
3) 32 Halley Adams
4) 77 Hunter Toomey
5) 55 Brad Sosebee
6) 100 Cooper Twiggs
7) 20 Clinton Raper
8) 149 Seth Speed
9) 9 Wyatt Hopkins
10) k3 James Klaucke
Front Wheel Drive:
1) 2 Jim Exum
2) j3 Josh Deese
3) 99 Shawn Harper
4) k3 Sandi Klaucke
5) 05 Glenn Coker
6) f3 John Fulford
7) 7 Stephen Godfrey
8) 32 Logan Exum
9) 29r Sean Rice
10) 38 Brycen Williams
11) 74 D.J. Worley
DQ) a93 Nathan Adams