Stewart Friesen captured his first career NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series win when he took the checkered flag in Thursday night’s Eldora Dirt Derby at Eldora Speedway.
Friesen had to hold off Sheldon Creed in what turned out to be a two-lap shootout after a lengthy final caution period to take the win.
Friesen scored his first win in his 63rd series start. He did not pit in the race and inherited the lead from defending race winner Chase Briscoe, who came to pit road during the second stage break. Friesen went on to lead the final 57 laps.
"Thank you to all the race fans that kept pulling for us," Friesen said in Victory Lane. "This was meant to be. We needed to get it done on the dirt. We missed it the last two years. What a special event."
Friesen finished last at Pocono in the series’ last race and for only the second time in history became a driver to finish last in one race then win the next race. Ross Chastain also did it this season after he was disqualified in Iowa but came back to win at Gateway.
Friesen also locked up a playoff berth with the win. Ben Rhodes is 63 out of the final spot while Harrison Burton is 64 behind.
Creed, Grand Enfinger, Mike Marlar and Todd Gilliland rounded out the top five.
"Every guy when he starts racing dreams to get to run a NASCAR race and to have my first one go this well is unbelievable," Marlar said. "I would like to thank everyone, the Reaume Brothers, Smithbilt Homes. It was just an awesome race."
Christian Eckes, Chase Briscoe, Tyler Dippel, Tyler Ankrum and Matt Crafton completed the first 10 finishers.
Briscoe won the first two stages
The race was plagued by numerous accidents and caution flags. The biggest incident of the night involved 14 trucks in stage two with the likes of Burton, Johnny Sauter, Austin Wayne Self and Austin Hill involved.
"You are on dirt; these things don’t stop on a dime, especially as heavy as they are," Hill said. "I kind of just got pushed straight into all the mess. There was really nowhere I could go there.
"Even if I wasn’t getting hit from behind, I don’t know if I could have turned down to miss it because I was already committed to run the top lane on entry. That’s where all the may lay happened. Next thing you know four, five or six of us piled up together. I am not a dirt racer. I was just here to have fun. Especially since we are already locked into the playoffs."
Briscoe, Crafton, Moffitt, Friesen and Strickler won the five qualifying races while Ankrum took the checkered flag in the last chance qualifying race.
The NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series regular season ends on Saturday, August 10th at Michigan International Speedway.