Friday, March 26, 2021

Canada's Stewart Friesen to Make NASCAR Cup Debut on Bristol's Dirt


Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images


If you’re a professional driver seeking to make their first NASCAR Cup Series start, it makes perfect sense to plan a debut during an event where a variety of unknowns exist. The March 28th Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway is going to be something new for the entire Cup Series field enters with an empty notebook. With varying levels of dirt experience among the regular competitors in the series, this first NASCAR Cup Series dirt race in 51 years provided the ideal time for Stewart Friesen to run his maiden effort in the tour.
A native of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Stewart Friesen will be behind the wheel of a #77 Chevrolet Camaro fielded by Spire Motorsports. A mainstay of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series since 2016, Friesen’s career highlights in his 97 starts in the popular touring division include two victories including his first series win in the 2019 Eldora dirt event. Outside of NASCAR, Stewart Friesen has amassed a large assortment of wins in dirt track racing that includes 26 victories in the Super DIRTcar Series and 22 in the Super Track Super Series. Friesen also won a World of Outlaws Sprint Cup Series event in 2015 becoming the second Canadian to take a feature race in the high-profile dirt track tour. The victory was a source for national motorsport pride in Canada as it came at Ontario’s 3/8-mile Ohsweken Speedway.

The Spire Motorsports #77 car’s driving duties in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season’s six races prior to the Bristol event had been shared by Jamie McMurray and Justin Haley. Driving for the Daytona 500, McMurray scored the season’s best effort for the #77 Chevrolet Camaro finishing 8th surviving a crash-filled race. Stewart Friesen will race alongside Corey LaJoie competing in the #7 Spire Motorsports.

Joining the Canadian during his first venture in the NASCAR Cup Series is sponsor Halmar International. A constructor associated with major civil projects including highways, bridges and buildings, Halmar International has been an ongoing supporter of Stewart Friesen’s racing successes including multiple seasons in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. 

Friesen’s race at Bristol will be the first appearance of a Canadian driver in a NASCAR Cup Series since D.J. Kennington competed in the 2019 STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Coincidently, the car Kennington drove was a #77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet.
Stewart Friesen’s first career start and the NASCAR Cup Series’ first dirt race since 1971, the Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway is scheduled to start Sunday, March 28th at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time televise on TSN5 and Fox. 

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