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Friesen’s Success Defines Eldora Excitement

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Stewart Friesen went from being a well-known dirt racing ace to the latest name to arrive on the NASCAR scene with an impressive performance in Wednesday’s Camping World Truck Series Eldora Dirty Derby 150 at Eldora Speedway.

The Canadian put on a show, using his dirt experience to lead a race high 93 laps, and finish second to Matt Crafton.

Although Crafton came on strong late to take the victory, Friesen stole the limelight.

It’s a spotlight under which prominent dirt racing competitors have been featured as a result of their stout performances at Eldora, exposing them to a new audience of motorsports fans.

All eyes were on Bobby Pierce over the last couple of years and again on Wednesday as he finished second in 2015 and dominated in 2016 but crashed late.

Pierce again performed well, but Friesen emerged as the top dirt racer in 2017, representing an aspect of Eldora that fans find intriguing.

The annual dirt track race has become a signature event for the Truck Series, showcasing the sport’s roots, up and coming competitors, and the unpredictability that racing thrives on.

Underdog stories are popular across all sports and Eldora’s ability to consistently produce them each year attests to the uniqueness of the event.

Seeing names like Friesen and Pierce battle series regulars and some of NASCAR’s best dirt racers and excel produces the same excitement that restrictor plate races bring to the table regarding surprise contenders surpassing expectations. 

Watching Friesen compete for the win captured the attention of those watching as it came down to the closing laps to see if the smaller Halmar Friesen Racing team could pull off the upset.

Creating those situations on a weekly basis is difficult. However, it’s what makes Eldora special.

Knowing there will be an element of unpredictability adds to the intrigue of the event, and Friesen perfectly captured this aspect of racing.

It’s these moments that define the excitement of racing and Eldora once again delivered in numerous ways on Wednesday night. 

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Jason Schultz

Jason Schultz aspires to enter the public relations field of NASCAR. Schultz, 19, attends UNC Charlotte and is a communication studies major with a focus in public relations. In addition to contributing to POPULAR SPEED, Schultz produces podcasts for Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Dirty Mo Radio. He also completed a semester as a social media intern at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Each year, he volunteers as the social media correspondent for Autism Delaware's Drive for Autism golf tournament featuring NASCAR personalities and the AAA 400 Drive for Autism Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Dover.