The first Canadian and one of just six drivers to win DIRTcar Big-Block Modified racing’s most prestigious event, the VP Small Engine Fuels 200 at the one-mile New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, N.Y., in back-to-back years (2010-11), Friesen competed regularly at the famed Fonda facility for the first time in 2012. He promptly dominated the weekly action, winning eight features and the Big-Block Modified title.
Friesen has continued his checkered-flag onslaught this season. He’s won four features at Fonda, including the last two, and leads the points standings heading into the summer. Overall he’s won nine times at five different tracks, including a February score during the UNOH DIRTcar Nationals by Summit at Volusia and a triumph in the Super DIRTcar Series opener on June 6 at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park in Elbridge, N.Y.
While Friesen’s exposure to dirt Late Model racing has been limited – he’s seen them at such tracks as Fonda, Volusia, Charlotte, Rolling Wheels, Syracuse, Utica-Rome (N.Y.) and Hagerstown (Md.) – he knows two New Yorkers with Big-Block Modified roots, Tim McCreadie and Tim Fuller, are now WoO LMS standouts. Perhaps he’ll discover that Big-Block Modified racing is a great breeding ground for dirt Late Model success.
“McCreadie and those guys say Late Models handle so much better than a Modified,” said Friesen. “They say it’s a more of an aggressive style of driving, which I think should be cool.”
Will Friesen’s experience at the unique, egg-shaped Fonda layout help him adapt to Frank’s No. 1* dirt Late Model? He hopes it will be of some assistance during a WoO LMS program that will be topped by a 50-lap, $10,000-to-win A-Main and include such traveling full-fender stars at Frank, McCreadie, Fuller, Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., Rick Eckert of York, Pa., and Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga.
“Maybe where the throttle and brake points are should be pretty similar to the Modified on a heavy track,” said Friesen, who has 14 career victories at Fonda. “I’ll just have to see once I get in the car and hot-lap. Obviously the size of the car and the shape of the car is something new to me, and the four-link (setup) is kind of new to me. Those different characteristics will take a little bit to figure out, but at least I’ll know the racetrack.
“No matter what happens, it’s going to be a neat experience. I’m real excited to have a chance to drive Chub’s car.”