BRISTOL, Tenn. — After Aaron Reutzel found the top lane during Friday’s World of Outlaws sprint car feature at Bristol Motor Speedway, Stewart Friesen mastered it in the Super DIRTcar Series nightcap.
Friesen raced forward from eighth on the grid in a 40-lap battle around the .526-mile, dirt-covered high banks, steadily moving up the race track and picking off cars one at a time en route to victory.
He made the winning pass around the outside of Mike Mahaney on lap 18 and dominated the remaining distance, roaring out to a 7.739-second victory over runner-up Tyler Dippel.
The victory was Friesen’s second in two races to open the points-paying portion of the Super DIRTcar Series season and the 27th of his career, tying him with Steve Paine for eighth on the all-time wins list.
“Reality definitely matches the dream. This is unbelievable,” said Friesen of winning at Bristol. “For our cars to be on this stage … it’s amazing. I’ve wanted one of these [swords] for five years now.
“I always thought I’d get a (NASCAR Camping World) Truck Series win before a modified win here!”
A long green-flag run punctuated the final two-thirds of the modified main event, with the final caution waving on lap 13 after Demetrios Drellos slowed back in the pack.
From there, once Friesen got to the point, he never gave it up again and navigated slower traffic to perfection.
Dippel showed no shame in a second-place finish, not when Friesen’s No. 44 was as dominant as it was.
“We were one spot short tonight, but Stew’s been so good … you can’t be disappointed with that,” the 21-year-old noted afterward.
Mat Williamson, the 2019 Super DIRTcar Series champion, crossed third ahead of Tim Sears Jr., while Mahaney faded to fifth in the final results after leading the first 17 laps.
Gary Tomkins, Chad Brachmann, Erick Rudolph, Peter Britten and Max McLaughlin closed the top 10.
1. 44-Stewart Friesen, 2. 1d-Tyler Dippel, 3. 88-Mat Williamson, 4. 83jr-Tim Sears Jr., 5. 35-Mike Mahaney, 6. 84-Gary Tomkins, 7. 3b-Chad Brachmann, 8. 25-Erick Rudolph, 9. 21a-Peter Britten, 10. 32c-Max McLaughlin, 11. 9s-Matt Sheppard, 12. 91-Billy Decker, 13. 99L-Larry Wight, 14. 42p-Pat Ward, 15. 5h-Chris Hile, 16. 2-Jack Lehner, 17. 2a-Mike Gular, 18. 14w-Ryan Watt, 19. 98h-Jimmy Phelps, 20. 83-Brian Swartzlander, 21. 28-Jordan McCreadie, 22. 3-Justin Haers, 23. 19m-Jessey Mueller, 24. 20-Brett Hearn, 25. 111-Demetrios Drellos, 26. 22-Brandon Walters, 27. 17d-Marcus Dinkins, 28. 4r-Kevin Root, 29. 3j-Marc Johnson, 30. 43f-Keith Flach.