Halmar Friesen Racing

Silly Season scorecard: Early December update

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As NASCAR begins to move deeper into the offseason, it has seen a flurry of driver announcements from teams about the 2020 racing season.

The most recent addition to the list came Tuesday, when Corey LaJoie announced on the “Sunday Money” podcast that he will be running a second full-time season in Cup with Go Fas Racing.

Also, Stewart Friesen will return to Halmar Friesen Racing for a third full-time season in the Truck Series. The team will switch from Chevrolet to Toyota Trucks in 2020, as well.

Here’s a look at all the official driver announcements made so far for next season.

 

OPEN CUP RIDES ANNOUNCED FOR 2020

No. 38: Front Row Motorsports must replace David Ragan, who stated Aug. 14 that 2019 would be his final season running a full schedule.

No. 36: Front Row Motorsports announced Nov. 13 it was parting ways with Matt Tifft so he could focus on his health following his seizure at Martinsville in March. Tifft said he could not commit to racing in 2020.

 

ANNOUNCED CUP RIDES FOR 2020

No. 1: Chip Ganassi Racing announced on Nov. 1 a multi-year extension with Kurt Busch.

No. 6: Roush Fenway Racing announced Oct. 30 that Ryan Newman would return to the car as part of the news that Oscar Mayer would sponsor the No. 6 through 2021.

No. 8: Richard Childress Racing made it official Oct. 2 that Tyler Reddick will move to Cup in 2020 and drive the No. 8 car.

No. 10: Aric Almirola confirmed Oct. 11 he signed an extension to race for Stewart-Haas Racing.

No. 13: Ty Dillon posted a video Sept. 6 on Instagram refuting rumors that he would retire after this season. He has a contract with Germain Racing through 2020.

No. 14: Clint Bowyer was announced Oct. 17 as returning to Stewart-Haas Racing for a fourth season.

No. 17: Chris Buescher will take over the Roush Fenway Racing No. 17 ride in 2020 after the team announced Sept. 25 that it would part ways with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. after this season.

No. 20: Joe Gibbs Racing announced Sept. 6 that it had signed Erik Jones to an extension. It is a one-year extension for the 2020 season.

No. 21: Matt DiBenedetto replaces Paul Menard at Wood Brothers Racing (announcement made Sept. 10). DiBenedetto’s deal is for 2020 only.

No. 32: Corey LaJoie will return for a second straight full season with Go Fas Racing and the No. 32 Ford. The team announced on Nov. 1 it would enter a technical alliance with Stewart-Haas Racing next year.

No. 37: Ryan Preece moves over from the No. 47 to the No. 37. He will have a new crew chief, Trent Owens, who has been crew chief on the No. 37 for the past three seasons.

No. 41: Stewart-Haas Racing announced Nov. 15 Cole Custer will replace Daniel Suarez.

No. 47: JTG Daugherty Racing announced Oct. 16 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will join Ryan Preece at the two-car team, essentially swapping seats with Chris Buescher. On Dec. 2, the team announced Stenhouse will drive the No. 47, with Brian Pattie serving as his crew chief.

No. 95: Christopher Bell moves to Cup in 2020 and will drive for Leavine Family Racing (announcement made Sept. 24).

Rick Ware Racing: JJ Yeley will drive one of the team’s three full-time rides.

 

AMONG THOSE YET TO ANNOUNCE DEALS FOR 2020

Daniel Suarez — The driver revealed Nov. 14  he would not return to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2020 after one season driving the No. 41.

 

ANNOUNCED PLANS IN OTHER NASCAR SERIES

Xfinity Series 

Ross Chastain – Kaulig Racing announced Oct. 15 he would compete full-time for the team in 2020 driving the No. 10 Chevrolet, joining Justin Haley.

Joe Gibbs Racing — Announced Oct. 17 Harrison Burton will drive its No. 20 Toyota full-time in 2020. Announced Oct. 31 Brandon Jones would return for a third year in the No. 19. Revealed Nov. 5 it would field a third full-time entry with Riley Herbst in the No. 18.

JR MotorsportsJustin Allgaier will return to the team for a fifth year in the No. 7 Chevrolet. The No. 8 car will be driven by Daniel Hemric for 21 races, Jeb Burton 11 races and Dale Earnhardt Jr. for one race. Noah Gragson will also return for a second season in the No. 9 car, while Michael Annett returns for a fourth year with the team in the No. 1 car.

Richard Childress Racing — Has not announced its driver plans for 2020, but Richard Childress said after Tyler Reddick claimed the Xfinity title that it would field a full-time entry.

Stewart-Haas Racing – The team has not announced plans for the No. 00 Ford with Cole Custer moving to Cup or whether Chase Briscoe will return to the No. 98.

JD MotorsportsJesse Little will compete full-time for the team.

 

Truck Series

GMS RacingDriver lineup will include Brett Moffitt, Sam Mayer, Sheldon Creed and Tyler Ankrum

Kyle Busch MotorsportsRaphael Lessard will drive the No. 4 full-time while Christian Eckes will drive the No. 18 full-time.

Halmar Friesen Racing — Stewart Friesen will return for a third full-time season in the No. 52 Truck. The team will also switch from Chevrolet to Toyota Trucks in 2020.

Hattori Racing EnterprisesAustin Hill will return to the No. 16 Toyota for a second year.

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Halmar Friesen Racing switching to Toyota for 2020 Truck Series season

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After winning two Truck Series races and making the Championship 4 in 2019, Halmar Friesen Racing will switch from Chevrolet to Toyota for the 2020 season, the team announced Tuesday.

The team, which fields the No. 52 truck driven by Stewart Friesen, goes from an alliance with GMS Racing to receiving support from Toyota Racing Development. It will purchase trucks from Kyle Busch Motorsports.

The team has also acquired a new headquarters in Statesville, North Carolina.

Tripp Bruce returns to the team as crew chief. Gene Nead has been signed as Competition Director.

Friesen, 36, will compete in his third full-time season on the circuit next year.

“We were all very impressed after spending time with Toyota,” Friesen said in a press release. “TRD has been welcoming to our organization. With their support, knowledge and technology, we hope to bring our team to another level.

Added Friesen: “Through this transition, we’ve been able to retain several members of our team from last season. They’ve remained loyal to us and have new energy going into 2020.”

Friesen’s wins came at Eldora Speedway and ISM Raceway, which was his first win on pavement.

Stewart Friesen’s primary truck confiscated by NASCAR at Kentucky

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NASCAR confirmed that it confiscated Stewart Friesen‘s primary No. 52 Chevrolet Thursday at Kentucky Speedway after it found an issue with the truck’s firewall in inspection before the series’ first practice.

Friesen will have to start from the rear for tonight’s race due to going to a backup truck. Any penalties will be announced next week.

Friesen was allowed to retrieve his safety and comfort equipment before the truck was confiscated.

Friesen competes for Halmar Friesen Racing, which issued the following statement.

“The team at HFR is not yet sure of the exact reason for confiscation, our understanding is that there was something about the firewall that prompted it. At this time, the truck remains in lockup. It is a brand new truck and it had yet to race. Stewart Friesen and the crew are confident in our backup truck and look forward to hitting the track today at Kentucky Speedway.”

Friesen was seventh fastest in the first practice session and 13th fastest in final practice with his backup truck.

“It seems really weird this year, we really haven’t had many qualifying runs that have made a difference,” Friesen told FS1. “We’ve changed motors and had to go to backup trucks and all sorts of stuff lately. This is a great race car, we ran this at Chicago a couple of weeks ago (where he finished third). It was fast at Texas a couple of weeks before that. … Hats off to all my guys for busting their butts the last couple of weeks, been a long, hard stretch. They’ve been putting in probably more hours than they need to in the race shop. Just really, really appreciate that.”

Friesen enters today’s race third in points after earning seven top fives and 8 top 10s in the first 12 races of the season.

Stewart Friesen will compete full-time in Truck Series

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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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Halmar Friesen Racing Truck team splits with Tommy Baldwin Jr., forms alliance with GMS Racing

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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.”

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