Friesen Claims Super DIRTcar Finale
CONCORD, N.C. – Stewart Friesen passed new Super DIRTcar Series big-block modified champion Brett Hearn in the closing laps of Saturday’s season finale during the World of Outlaws World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway to score his second victory of 2013.
Hearn started third and got around polesitter Ryan Godown to take the lead on the opening lap just as the caution flag waved for a crash involving Billy Dunn and Tim Currier in turn four.
The field returned to racing and Hearn was able to hold the lead as the battle for second unfolded behind him. Friesen, who started second but fell to fourth on the restart, passed Godown to take third on lap six.
As Friesen turned his attention to catching second-place Dale Planck, Hearn was quickly catching the tail of the field. On lap 11 Hearn was knee deep in traffic, slicing and dicing his way through the field as Planck and Friesen tried to close the gap.
Friesen was able to sneak past Planck as the two negotiated traffic, with sixth-starting Jimmy Phelps also working by Planck. By then Hearn had nearly a straightaway lead on Friesen, but once Friesen cleared traffic he began to close the gap.
Bad luck struck Tim McCreadie on lap 28 when he slowed coming out of turn four, forcing series officials to wave the caution flag. Hearn was able to hold off Friesen during the restart, but Friesen made sure to stay right behind Hearn as they pulled away from third-place Phelps.
As Hearn and Friesen battled for the lead, they began to swap lanes in the corners. Hearn would go low and Friesen high in turns three and four, with the pair swapping lanes in turns one and two. Friesen made his move on lap 37, using a strong run out of turn two to get alongside Hearn down the backstretch.
Hearn and Friesen stayed side-by-side down the backstretch, but entering turn three Friesen was able to clear Hearn to take the lead for the first time in the 40-lap feature. Hearn fell in behind Friesen and began to look for a way around, but the opening never came as Friesen held on for the victory.
“Last night we learned some things and we applied what we learned last night to the car tonight. My guys worked their tails off, what a great race car,” Friesen said. “We have a lot fun. We work hard and we play hard. We’re going to go enjoy this tonight, that is for damn sure.”
Despite being denied a weekend sweep at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, Hearn was still pleased after earning his eighth series championship.
“He went a little harder on tires just like he did last night and I was just hanging on at the end,” Hearn said. “I knew I was struggling a little bit just trying to find some bite off the corners so I was moving around trying to find something.
“I’ve got a great handling car, a bunch of really good teammates and it feels good to win the championship, but I’d like to win it all,” Hearn said.
Phelps finished third, followed by Ryan Godown and Duane Howard.
Stewart Friesen, Brett Hearn, Jimmy Phelps, Ryan Godown, Duane Howard, Gary Tomkins, Dale Planck, Matt Billings, Billy Decker, Matt Sheppard, Danny Johnson, Mat Williamson, Billy VanInwegen, Justin Haers, Carey Terrance, Rob Bellinger, Kevin Bates, Justin Wright, Peter Britten, Rick Laubach, Tim Currier, Keith Flach, Dave Rauscher, Kenny Tremont Jr., Brian Swartzlander, Tim McCreadie, Rich Scagliotta, Billy Dunn.