Friesen Victorious at ESW 2019
By FRANK CATIZONE
MIDDLETOWN, NY – Stewart Friesen certainly had his fill of traveling both on and off the race track during a recent four-day period as he competed at both the Orange County Fair Speedway and Martinsville Speedway in Virginia.
But Friesen capped off that four-day stretch Sunday evening in impressing fashion as he withstood both a long weather delay and a star-studded Modified field to defend his championship in the 58th annual Eastern States 200 at OCFS.
Friesen, who started in 44th position behind his former winner status, was clearly the class of this stellar field as he quickly worked his way through traffic twice to record his third Eastern States crown during the past four seasons.
Friesen began his week on Thursday with his 17th career triumph in the Short Track Super Series with an equally impressive victory in the Hard Clay Finale. It was then off to Virginia as the multi-talented driver placed sixth on Saturday in the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series event at Martinsville.
Friesen headed back to Middletown by plane following the truck race to compete in Saturday’s Eastern States 100 Small Block Modiified event. However, after using his former champion status once again, he completed only 10 laps and finished in 36th place.
Friesen, after pitting on lap 84 of the 200, wasted no time working his way back towards the front as he utilized both the inside and outside grooves to pass his opponents at will. He moved back into the top five behind leader Billy Decker, Matt Sheppard, Danny Johnson and Peter Britten by the 110th circuit.
Friesen moved past Britten two laps later, moved ahead of Johnson by the 115th lap and then nosed ahead of Sheppard by the 126th lap.
Friesen then quickly closed in on Decker and utilized a wide outside pass off the fourth turn to gain the advantage on Decker to complete the 129th circuit. It was all Friesen from that point on as only 12 cars finished on the lead lap.
Sheppard was able to move ahead of Decker on the 180th circuit to follow Friesen in second place with Decker, Johnson, Larry Wight, Jimmy Phelps, Tim Fuller, Tim McCreadie, Billy Dunn and Williamson rounding out the top 10.
Anthony Perrego was the top OCFS driver – finishing one lap off the winning pace in 13th place. OCFS Modified champion Brett Hearn dropped out after 147 laps and finished 30th.
Williamson, after winning the Past Champions Race on Friday night, and Sheppard put on quite a battle in the Eastern States 100 Small Block Modified event on Saturday with Williamson prevailing for his first Eastern States crown.
Williamson was able to move past Sheppard in lapped traffic on the 36th circuit of the race to take the lead for good. However, both Sheppard and then McCreadie kept Williamson within challenging distance before Williamson pulled way in the latter stages of the race – which was stopped twice for rain during the final 10 laps.
Hearn was able to move ahead of McCreadie on the 85th lap to finish in third place with McCreadie, Decker, Mike Maresca, Erick Rudolph, Wight, Perrego and Ronnie Johnson rounding out the top 10.
Kevin Root led the entire 50-lap distance to earn his first Eastern States championship in the Sportsman title event Friday night as he finished ahead of OCFS titlist Grant Hilfiger, Andrew Buff, Tyler Corcoran and Jared LaBagh.
Jim Maher, despite smacking the backstretch wall, raced home with a victory in the Street Stock 25-lap main event and earned his third Eastern States banner in the process.
Maher, whose car badly smoked at times after making contact with the wall on the 11th lap, didn’t miss a beat to the checkered flags as he finished ahead of OCFS titlist Bob Sleight Jr., Dan Maher, Ray Tarantino and Rob Taylor.
Eastern States 200 Modified Finish: 1. Stewart Friesen, 2. Matt Sheppard, 3. Billy Decker, 4. Danny Johnson, 5. Larry Wight, 6. Jimmy Phelps, 7. Tim Fuller, 8. Tim McCreadie, 9. Billy Dunn, 10. Mat Williamson, 11. Erick Rudolph, 12. Pat Ward, 13. Anthony Perrego, 14. Marc Johnson, 15. Peter Britten, 16. Mike Gular, 17. Mike Mahaney, 18. Craig Mitchell, 19. Jessica Friesen, 20. Tyler Boniface, 21. Dillon Steuer, 22. Billy VanInwegen, 23. Danny Creeden, 24. Jeff Strunk, 25. Rich Eurich, 26. J.R. Heffner, 27. Bob Hentschel, 28. Jack Lehner, 29. Rick Laubach, 30. Brett Hearn, 31. L.J. Lombardo, 32. Matt Janiak, 33. Michael Storms, 34. John Ferrier, 35. Max McLaughlin, 36. Jimmy Horton, 37. Matt Hitchcock, 38. Andy Bachetti, 39. Ken Tremont Jr., 40. C.G. Morey, 41. Jeff Heotzler Sr., 42. Ryan Godown, 43. Tommy Meier, 44. Jerry Higbie. Scratched: Ronnie Johnson. Did Not Qualify: Gary Edwards Jr., Bob McGannon, Ric Hill, Eddie Marshall, Kirk Horton, Sam Martz Sr., Corey Lowitt, Steve Dodd, Michael Sabia, Mike Trautschold, Chris Shultz, Billy Pauch Jr., Yanick Mathieu, Stan Frankenfield Jr., Dan Humes, Brad Rothaupt, Jimmy Spellmon, Tyler Jashembowski, Randy Sherlock.
Street Stock Feature Finish, 25 Laps: 1. Jim Maher, 2. Bob Sleight Jr., 3. Dan Maher, 4. Ray Tarantino, 5. Rob Taylor, 6. Walt Henry, 7. Emerson Cargain Jr., 8. Gary Ronk, 9. Jared Palmer, 10. Tom Cilurso, 11. Charlie Donald, 12. Joel Murns Jr., 13. Joe Scheffold, 14. Matt Caramano, 15. Emerson Cargain Sr. Did Not Start: John Miracle, Dom Denue.
Eastern States 100 Small Block Modified Finish: 1. Mat Williamson, 2. Matt Sheppard, 3. Brett Hearn, 4. Tim McCreadie, 5. Billy Decker, 6. Mike Marsesca, 7. Erick Rudolph, 8. Larry Wight, 9. Anthony Perrego, 10. Ronnie Johnson, 11. David Schilling, 12. Mike Gular, 13. Billy Dunn, 14. David Marcuccilli, 15. Louden Reimert, 16. Michael Storms, 17. Billy VanInwegen, 18. Mike Mahaney, 19. Tyler Boniface, 20. Lance Willix, 21. Dillon Steuer, 22. Gary Edwards Jr., 23. Corey Cormier, 24. Craig Mitchell, 25. Chris Stevens, 26. Ken Tremont Jr., 27. Bob Hentschel, 28. Chris Curtis, 29. Danny Creeden, 30. Michael Parente, 31. Pat Ward, 32. John Ferrier, 33. Yan Bussiere, 34. Max McLaughlin, 35. Jimmy Spellmon, 36. Stewart Friesen, 37. Jerry Higbie. Did Not Qualify: Richard Smith, Jeff Strunk, Alex Yankowski, Allison Ricci, Michael Sabia, Justin Lalancette, Randy Sherlock, Ryan Darcy, Brendan Finley, Rich Eurich, Dan Morgiewicz, Angelo DiCarlo, Ray Hall Jr., John Criscione, Jim Maher, Kirk Horton, Randy Green, Kenneth Aanonsen Jr., Terry Arnold, John Redner, Roger Henion Jr., Matt Stangle, L.J. Lombardo, Matt Janiak, Matt Shultz, Tommy Meier, Shane Jablonka, Elmo Reckner, Joe Bonetti, C.G. Morey, Patrick Reiser, Joey Bruning, Ray Jashembowski, Dan Humes, John Illanovsky, Allysa Cody, Zack Vavricka, Frank Venezia, Kurt Hundeland, Tyler Treacy.
Small Block Modified Dash For Cash: 1. Mat Williamson, 2. Matt Sheppard, 3. Tim McCreadie, 4. Billy Decker, 5. Lance Willix, 6. Yan Bussiere.
Modified Dash For Cash: 1. Max McLaughlin, 2. Anthony Perrego, 3. Mike Mahaney, 4. Larry Wight, 5. Peter Britten, 6. Mat Williamson, 7. Tim McCreadie, 8. Jimmy Phelps, 9. Matt Sheppard, 10. Jerry Higbie, 11. Craig Mitchell, 12. Tommy Meier.
Eastern States 50 Sportsman Finish: 1. Kevin Root, 2. Grant Hilfiger, 3. Andrew Buff, 4. Tyler Corcoran, 5. Jared LaBagh, 6. Patrick Murphy, 7. Cole Stangle, 8. Matt Shultz, 9. Jesse Leiby, 10. Jordan Lawrence, 11. Charlie Loiodice, 12. Jimmy Johnson, 13. Dan Morgiewicz, 14. Will Shields, 15. Joe Conklin, 16. Michael Sabia, 17. Jimmy Leiby, 18. Corey Cormier, 19. Clinton Mills, 20. Steve Davis, 21. Cole Hentschel, 22. Connor Cleveland, 23. Tyler Johnston, 24. Bobby Flood, 25. Roddy Watts, 26. John Virgilio, 27. Christian Rumsey, 28. John Brown, 29. Howie Finch, 30. Travis Green. Did Not Qualify: Jake Bedell, Tyler Peet, Ken Ferrier, Ryan Godowm Jr., Mike Bull, Michael Giuliano, R.J. Smith, Billy Eggers, Robbie Colburn, Bryan Jones, Mike Orlando, Brian Heath, Ken Ryder, Pete Carlotto, Billy Fiske, Joe Bonetti, Hunter Lapp, Tom Collins, Mel Schrufer, Jake Mason, Jared Miller, Cass Bennett, Trevor Arnold, Rafaele Carson, Peye Goydich, Greg Sleight, Russell Crotty, Joey Coppola, Kyle Smith, Chris Stevens, Brad Szulewski, Tighe Sherlock, Dylan Smith, Troy Arnold, Lem Atkins, Ryan Neiger, Jeff Highham, Kyle Plumstead, Rob Wosyluk, Frank Frasco, Sam Martz Jr., Pat Mann, Ryan Stortini, Mike Barbieri.
Modified Past Champions Race Finish: 1. Mat Williamson, 2. Tim McCreadie, 3. Danny Johnson, 4. Billy Decker, 5. Brett Hearn, 6. Tommy Meier, 7. Jerry Higbie, 8. Jimmy Horton, 9. Rich Eurich, 10. Jeff Heotzler Sr.