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Stewart Friesen wins Eldora Dirt Derby for first career Truck victory

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Stewart Friesen won Thursday night’s Eldora Dirt Derby in a two-lap shootout to score his first career Gander Outdoors Truck Series win.

Friesen, 36, claims the win in his 63rd career start and is now locked into the playoffs with one race left in the regular season. Two playoff spots remain up for grabs.

Friesen beat Sheldon Creed, Grant Enfinger, Mike Marlar and Todd Gilliland. Marlar was making his first career NASCAR start.

A native of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Friesen had finished second six times before getting a win.

“Thank you to all the race fans that stuck with us, that pulled for us, everybody that came by the dirt modified hauler and said ‘Man, I thought this was the week,'” Friesen told FS1. “Today, this is the day and today this is the week.”

Friesen made his series debut in the 2016 Eldora race. He started from the pole in the 2017 race and led 93 laps before finishing second. He placed third last season.

“This was meant to be,” Friesen said. “We needed to get it done on the dirt. We missed the last two years. What a special event. … These guys have been down and out, down and out and they keep bustin’ their butts for me and fixing stuff and fixing stuff. Putting in such long hours. I can’t thank everybody enough.”

After starting first due to winning the first qualifying race, defending Eldora winner Chase Briscoe did not give up the lead until he pit during second stage break. He was then involved in two accidents before managing to get back to third in time for a restart with 12 laps to go. He then spun with nine laps to go to help bring out another caution.

Briscoe finished seventh.

Friesen assumed the lead from Briscoe when he and Matt Crafton pit during the stage break. Friesen elected to stay out and for it after his crew chief had told him to pit. Friesen led the final 57 laps.

The race saw a 14-truck crash on Lap 64 in Stage 2 that included Harrison Burton, Christian Eckes, Johnny Sauter, Austin Hill and Austin Wayne Self.

More: Race results, point standings

STAGE 1 WINNER: Chase Briscoe

STAGE 2 WINNER: Chase Briscoe

WHAT’S NEXT: Corrigan Oil 200 at Michigan International Speedway at 1 p.m. ET Aug. 10 on FS1