Rain Puts Friesen On Pole For Truck Finale

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Rain Puts Friesen
Stewart Friesen, seen here during practice at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday, will lead the field to green in the Ford EcoBoost 200. (Jacob Seelman photo)

HOMESTEAD, Fla. – The NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series championship is set to be decided during Friday night’s Ford EcoBoost 200, but Mother Nature had her say as far as setting the lineup.

Truck Series qualifying was washed out after heavy afternoon rains moved in at the end of the first NASCAR Xfinity Series practice session on Friday, forcing the starting grid to be set by the rule book.

As a result, championship contender Stewart Friesen will lead the field to green.

Friesen’s No. 52 Halmar-Friesen Racing Chevrolet Silverado leads both the driver and owner point standings entering Friday night’s 134-lap, 201-mile season finale. The Canadian is seeking his first NASCAR championship in his third full-time season of Truck Series competition.

Joining Friesen on the front row will be Christian Eckes, whose No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra team is in the thick of the hunt for the Truck Series owner’s championship.

Two of Friesen’s Championship 4 rivals – Ross Chastain and Brett Moffitt – will share the second row of the grid, while previously-eliminated playoff drivers Austin Hill, Johnny Sauter, Grant Enfinger and Tyler Ankrum start fifth through eighth, respectively.

Matt Crafton, the fourth driver eligible for this year’s Truck Series title, starts lowest among the quartet in ninth because his No. 88 ThorSport Racing Ford F-150 did not make the owner’s playoffs this year.

Other notables in the field include Martinsville winner Todd Gilliland (11th), Harrison Burton (13th), past NHRA Pro Stock champion Tanner Gray (26th) and Jesse Little (32nd), who is making his final Truck Series start for his family-owned team this weekend at Homestead.

With 37 trucks on the property for 32 starting spots, Camden Murphy, Dylan Lupton, Spencer Davis, Derek Kraus and Josh Reaume failed to make the field for the Ford EcoBoost 200 due to the weather.

Reaume would have made the race on owner points, but withdrew from the event.

Pending weather, the Ford EcoBoost 200 is scheduled for an 8 p.m. ET start, with live coverage on FOX Sports 1, the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

LINEUP: NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series; Homestead-Miami Speedway; Nov. 15, 2019

  1. Stewart Friesen (P)
  2. Christian Eckes
  3. Ross Chastain (P)
  4. Brett Moffitt (P)
  5. Austin Hill
  6. Johnny Sauter
  7. Grant Enfinger
  8. Tyler Ankrum
  9. Matt Crafton (P)
  10. Ben Rhodes
  11. Todd Gilliland
  12. Sheldon Creed
  13. Harrison Burton
  14. Austin Wayne Self
  15. Tyler Dippel
  16. Colby Howard
  17. Angela Ruch
  18. Jordan Anderson
  19. Gus Dean
  20. Natalie Decker
  21. Josh Bilicki
  22. Danny Bohn
  23. Joe Nemechek
  24. Anthony Alfredo
  25. Jennifer Jo Cobb
  26. Tanner Gray
  27. Parker Kligerman
  28. Tyler Hill
  29. Cory Roper
  30. Codie Rohrbaugh
  31. Ray Ciccarelli
  32. Jesse Little

DNQ: Camden Murphy, Dylan Lupton, Spencer Davis, Derek Kraus, Josh Reaume (WD).