CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. — Stewart Friesen, the seven-time NAPA Super DIRT Week champion, unlocked his legendary status at Land of Legends Raceway with a statement victory in the second of the Twin 60-lap races Wednesday night.
Two fierce competitors, Stewart Friesen and Mike Mahaney, led the 26-car Super DIRTcar Series field to the green flag but the No. 44 Halmar car came out on top in the end.
After a grinding crash on lap one of the race, the field was halted under red-flag conditions. The field was haulted under red flag conditions after a grinding crash on lap one of the race took out four racers. Larry Wight was stopped prone on the front stretch before Daniel Johnson, Jordan McCreadie, and Justin Wright piled into him.
When the green flag came back out, Mahaney found grip on the top side and pulled away from Friesen and the rest of the field.
As the race wore on, the smooth bottom became the dominant line and Friesen was able to capitalize on that for the race-winning pass. Mahaney was forced to settle for third.
“Mahaney has been fast everywhere all year,” noted Friesen. “It was tough. We got him on the initial start but then on the restart he got lane choice. He got out there, but we were able to track him down and pass him.”
Friesen had not graced the Land of Legends Raceway Victory Lane in a big-block since 2005.
“This has been a tough track for us,” the race-winner noted. “I got a couple big-block wins in 2005. The Madsens were about to fire me I think but then I got two wins in late August. But we haven’t really had a good package for this place. We threw a bunch of stuff at it tonight and after hot laps it was good.”
Runner-up Tim Fuller had the crowd on its feet in the final 10 laps. Fuller took his black No. 19 to the topside after a late-race restart for Dave Marcucilli, who stopped on the backstretch. Fuller passed Erick Rudolph, Matt Sheppard and Mahaney in the space of a few laps. The North Country ace was reeling in Friesen for the lead, but he ran out of time.
“When the right rear cooled down under caution I was sitting in eighth,” Fuller said. “I knew I could ring that outside for a little bit before the right rear overheated. You get what you can get like that at the end. Friesen was just too strong. I was able to catch everybody slamming to the bottom and running nose-to-tail. It was cleaner down there. Smooth. No rubber. You had to be on the bottom or way outside.”
After a great start off the pole, Mahaney kept the No. 35 in a podium position for the duration of the 60-lapper.
“I want to thank my fiancé Mandee for pulling the pole in the redraw,” Mahaney said. “It’s been a while since I’ve had a decent starting spot. It seems like it’s been since Bristol. We were terrible in the first feature. We made some wholesale changes to the car. I think I made it slightly better in the heat race and much better in the feature. We seem to be really loose or really tight.”
Feature (60 Laps): 1. 44F-Stewart Friesen [$7,500]; 2. 19F-Tim Fuller [$4,000]; 3. 35M-Mike Mahaney [$2,500]; 4. 25R-Erick Rudolph [$1,800]; 5. 9S-Matt Sheppard [$1,600]; 6. 3H-Justin Haers [$1,400]; 7. 88W-Mat Williamson [$1,300]; 8. 14j-Alan Johnson [$1,200]; 9. 91D-Billy Decker [$1,100]; 10. 2L-Jack Lehner [$1,000]; 11. 21A-Peter Britten [$800]; 12. 98H-Jimmy Phelps [$700]; 13. 42P-Pat Ward [$600]; 14. 111D-Demetrios Drellos [$575]; 15. 32R-Ronnie Davis [$550]; 16. 5H-Chris Hile [$525]; 17. 32CC-Max Mclaughlin [$500]; 18. 83X-Tim Sears [$500]; 19. 34R-Kevin Root [$500]; 20. 23C-Kyle Coffey [$500]; 21. M1-Dave Marcuccilli [$500]; 22. 121T-Gary Tomkins [$500]; 23. 27JR-Daniel Johnson [$500]; 24. 99L-Larry Wight [$500]; 25. 19W-Justin Wright ; 26. 28M-Jordan McCreadie