Halmar Friesen Racing, which operates the No. 52 Chevrolet Silverado in the Camping World Truck Series, has parted ways with Tommy Baldwin Jr. and has formed a technical alliance with GMS Racing for the remainder of the season.
Team co-owner Chris Larsen told NBC Sports Wednesday afternoon that the team is not shutting down or suspending operations, but rather is in the process of integrating much of its operation with GMS Racing.
That includes moving into GMS’s shop, sharing technical expertise, equipment, engineering and support, Larsen said.
Larsen said the team will continue to be operated independently, so it won’t be considered as another GMS truck.
“We’re shifting to a technical alliance with GMS,” Larsen said. “We’re hoping this will take our team to another level.
“(GMS has) been gracious enough to work with us and share some of their technical expertise, fill in on equipment that we had with Tommy and stuff like that. GMS will fulfill our need with that.”
To facilitate the changeover to GMS and further prepare its trucks, Halmar Friesen Racing will be skipping next weekend’s race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, and may also skip the race at Chicagoland Speedway.
It will be the second time the team has skipped races in 2017, having missed Gateway and Iowa earlier this season.
Stewart Friesen, who is both driver of the truck and a co-owner of the team, will remain behind the wheel when HFR returns to the track, Larsen said.
Friesen, a Canadian native, has competed in 12 of the series’ first 14 races this season. He is currently 15th in driver points with a best finish of runner-up at Eldora (he also won the pole for that race).
Joining forces with GMS will also allow HFR to further expand its search for sponsorship for next season, Larsen said.
“We’re in the same boat as everybody else, everything is dependent on sponsorship,” Larsen said.
As for Baldwin, he joined forces with HFR earlier this year, overseeing operations. But both sides decided recently to “part ways amicably,” Larsen said.
“We just agreed things weren’t progressing at the rate we wanted,” Larsen said. “For us to go to another level, we needed more focus and full-time commitment to just our truck.
“Tommy helped us to get to where we are and we couldn’t have done it without him. We just agreed to split ways.
“And with our new alliance with GMS, we’re very confident we’ll finish the season strong by doing this.”