CENTER LISLE, NY – Stewart Friesen accomplished yet another historic feat on Saturday night at Thunder Mountain Speedway.
The Sprakers, N.Y., driver captured the 25-lap Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprint A-Main event making him the first ever driver to win an Empire Super Series event at the bullring. Friesen picked up over $2,000 for his win which came as part of the E&V Energy Tour of the States series.
Friesen used a last lap pass of current series point leader Steve Poirier to secure the win for his Doug Emery Motorsports team.
“I have to thank Doug Emery and Barb Patterson a lot for this opportunity,” said Friesen. “It’s super. Anytime Brett Deyo gets involved in a promotion and now with sprint cars it’s a good thing. It is a pleasure to be here and a great event. I’m proud to be a part of it.”
Dave Axton and Poirier brought the field to the start of the race with Poirier heading to the top side to take the race lead as the field charged into the first corner. Poirier worked the high groove off the exit of turn two allowing him to keep the lead down the backstretch.
Over the first few laps Axton remained close to Poirier has he remained in a close battle for second with Matt Tanner and the seventh place starter Friesen. Friesen worked the lower lane while Axton and Tanner stayed through in the middle of the racing groove.
Poirier began to stretch the advantage by lap eight as the race for the runner-up spot intensified between Axton and Friesen. Friesen got under Tanner for third then on lap 10 he wrestled second from Axton who promptly passed him back a lap later. At the halfway point it was Friesen just edging in front of Axton for second was Poirier remained the leader.
Before lap 14 could be completed a caution changed the course of the race as Tim Axton slowed on the frontstretch with a broken driveshaft in his No. 99A ride. At this point Poirier was the leader over Friesen, Axton, Tanner and Hebing.
Poirier elected to use the bottom lane for the double-file restart and it worked to his advantage as he was able to work the bottom then slide to the middle in turns one and two in order to keep Friesen behind him as they drove into turns one and two.
Poirier and Friesen charged away as the race for third heated up between Tanner, Hebing and Pennsylvania invader Aaron Ott. The trio swapped the position multiple-times before the lap 18 mark with Tanner eventually solidifying the spot.
Poirier got to traffic with five laps remaining allowing Friesen to begin his assault. Friesen continued to work the low lane while Poirier began struggling in the middle of the track. Friesen used the moisture on the bottom to close in as the laps neared completion.
“You kind of got to go where he’s not in a situation like that,” stated Friesen. “He had the top three-quarters of the track filled up so we had to make it work on the bottom.”