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Qualifying for the Eldora Dirt Derby is a little different than any other track. There is only one round of qualifying, two laps per driver. Also, winning the overall pole doesn’t necessarily put you on pole for the Eldora Dirt Derby. It does put you on pole for the first heat race, though, which is still important.
Halmar Friesen Racing’s Stewart Friesen took advantage of a very good qualifying position draw. Going out 14th, Friesen posted a time of 20.000 seconds (90.000 mph) on his second lap to put him self on top of the speed chart. The remaining 20 drivers all took shots at the Big Block Modified veteran (who is doing double-duty at Eldora), but no one could break into the 19-second bracket to beat the Canadian racer.
For Friesen, it is his first career pole in the Camping World Truck Series. While he’s pleased at that fact, it is only the first step.
“[Winning the pole] is pretty cool, but its just part of getting the job done,” Friesen told FOX Sports’ Hermie Sadler after the session. “The big deal is later tonight. This seeds us good; it’ll get us up front for the heat race.”
Friesen’s lap was nearly a tenth and a half faster than Brad Keselowski Racing’s Chase Briscoe, who qualified second in a backup truck. GMS Racing’s Kaz Grala was third fastest, followed by Kyle Busch Motorsports teammates Christopher Bell and Noah Gragson.
These five drivers will start on the pole for the five individual heat races. Drivers in positions 1, 6, 11, 16, 21, 26 and 31 will be in heat No. 1. The other four races will be filled in a similar fashion. The results of those five heat races, plus a Last Chance Qualifier will set the field for tonight’s Eldora Dirt Derby.
Unfortunately, one driver is already out of the Eldora Dirt Derby. JR Heffner will not be able to compete in the heat races due to engine issues. He will have to haul back to Columbia County, N.Y. empty-handed.
— J.R. Heffner Racing (@jrheffnerracing) July 19, 2017
Heat races are scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. later tonight. They will air live on FOX Sports 2.
About the author
Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.
Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.
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