Friesen Lands Fonda WoO LMS Ride
FONDA, N.Y. – The racer in Northeast Big-Block Modified star Stewart Friesen wants to run every big-money special show at his home track, regardless of the division featured.
So it’s no surprise that Friesen, a personable, hard-charging 29-year-old Canadian who has become one of Big-Block Modified racing’s most high-profile names, jumped at an opportunity to compete in the inaugural World of Outlaws Late Model Series event at Fonda Speedway on Wed., June 19. He is set to make his dirt Late Model debut at the half-mile oval he knows well behind the wheel of a second Rocket Chassis car from WoO LMS veteran Chub Frank’s stable.
The challenge facing Friesen in his first-ever dirt Late Model attempt will be formidable, but Fonda’s defending Big-Block Modified champion is anxious to take it on.
“It’s gonna be a little bit of a change of pace but I’m looking forward to it,” said Friesen, a native of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., who now races out of Sprakers, N.Y., just minutes from Fonda Speedway. “We’ve done O.K. the few times we’ve run a Sprint Car, so adapting quickly to a new type of car is something I think we can do. Between hot laps and time trials, there should hopefully be enough time to figure things out to where we can at least be competitive.”
Frank, 51, of Bear Lake, Pa., certainly believes that Friesen has the talent to handle a dirt Late Model. He’s never met the young sensation, but he’s seen him race several times during WoO LMS/DIRTcar Big-Block Modified doubleheaders at tracks like Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla., and The Dirt Track at Charlotte and he’s well aware of Friesen’s exploits across the Northeast.
“I know he’s pretty fast,” said Frank, who will make his first career start at Fonda. “I read the (racing) paper and pay attention to who’s doing what in the other classes, and every time I open it up I see his name in the headlines so I know he’s a helluva racer.”
Friesen has been tearing up the Big-Block and 358-Modified ranks in recent seasons, rolling up impressive win totals and multiple track titles. A driver with a true racing pedigree – his family has long owned and operated Ransomville (N.Y.) Speedway, and his grandfather, father, two uncles and two cousins have all driven race cars – Friesen is coming off an especially spectacular 2012 campaign that saw him lead the Northeast short-track scene in feature wins (28) and register 70 top-five finishes in 97 overall starts.