Halmar Friesen Racing intends to compete full-time in the Camping World Truck Series this season, the team announced Friday.
The team fields the No. 52 Chevrolet driven by Stewart Friesen.
Friesen started 19 of the series’ 23 races in 2017. It failed to qualify for two races and did not enter two others as it transitioned into a technical alliance with GMS Racing.
The team, which began competing in the Truck Series in 2016, will continue in the technical alliance that was announced last August. HFR was previously in an alliance with Tommy Baldwin Racing.
“I am excited to get back to work this season with the team,” Friesen said in a press released. “We are well prepared and have the people and equipment to give us the ability to win on any given weekend and contend for the championship. Trip and the crew are some of the hardest working, most dedicated people I’ve ever worked with. They gave me a successful rookie season and I’m confident 2018 will be even better.”
Friesen, a native of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada, earned two top fives and five top 10s last season.
His top fives came at Eldora and the fall race at New Hampshire. He earned his first-career pole at Eldora and went on to finish second.
In the last seven races of the year, Friesen finished in the top seven four times.
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With practice extended 12 minutes due to a mid-session red flag, Stewart Friesen roared to the top of the Camping World Truck Series speed chart late in Friday’s second and final practice session.
Friesen covered the .526-mile paper clip-shaped oval at 94.713 mph.
Harrison Burton was second at 94.055 mph, followed by defending Truck Series champion Johnny Sauter (94.050), Ben Rhodes (94.036) and Kaz Grala (93.924).
Sixth through 10th were Noah Gragson (93.687), Matt Crafton (93.659), Chase Briscoe (93.631), John Hunter Nemechek (93.608) and Justin Haley (93.451).
There was only one significant incident in the session:
Rookie Dawson Cram stopped on the frontstretch with about 31 minutes left after suffering what appeared to be an engine issue. The 16-year-old Cram is hoping to make his Truck Series debut in Saturday’s race.
Safety crews put Cram’s truck in a flat-bed to prevent further spreading of oil from his engine on the racetrack. As a result, the track was placed under red-flag conditions for approximately 12 minutes to clean up oil from Cram’s vehicle.
As a result, the end of practice was extended from 3:55 p.m. ET to 4:07 p.m. ET.
Click here for the full practice speed grid.
Christopher Bell will start on the pole for today’s Camping World Truck Series race at Talladega Superspeedway after a lap of 180.118 mph. It is Bell’s fourth pole of the season.
Reigning series champion Johnny Sauter will start second after a lap of 179.027 mph.
They are followed by Stewart Friesen (178.753 mph), Justin Haley (178.188) and Chase Briscoe (177.771).
Kaz Grala, who is eight points out of a transfer spot, was third fastest in the opening session of qualifying but did not make an attempt in the final round because of leaking fluids. His team will change the engine.
Click here for starting lineup
Chris Fontaine, who is making his first start in the Camping World Truck Series this season, was the surprising fastest driver in Friday’s second and final practice at Talladega.
Driving the No. 47 Toyota Tundra, Fontaine covered the 2.66-mile, high-banked tri-oval at a field-best speed of 187.897 mph.
Stewart Friesen was second (187.835 mph), followed by Grant Enfinger (187.761), Myatt Snider (186.696), Noah Gragson (186.547), Christopher Bell (185.823), Justin Haley (184.883), Johnny Sauter (181.247), Clay Greenfield (179.642) and Parker Kligerman (179.259).
Qualifying takes place Saturday at 10:30 a.m. ET, just before the Fred’s 250 race, which will take the green flag at 1 p.m. ET
Click here for the full final practice speed chart.
Johnny Sauter posted the fastest lap in Saturday’s opening Camping World Truck Series practice at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Sauter led the way with a lap of 179.468 mph.
He was followed by Ryan Truex (178.619 mph), Matt Crafton (178.589), Noah Gragson (178.512) and Stewart Friesen (178.506).
Twenty trucks practiced in the session. Noah Gragson had the best average over 10 consecutive laps at 175.781 mph.
The series has one practice left today, followed by qualifying and tonight’s race.