Friesen wins Anthacite Assault feature

FORESTVILLE — NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Stewart Friesen returned to his dirt racing roots Tuesday night and came away with a big win.

Friesen, of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada, took the lead from Anthony Perrego on the 33rd lap and led the rest of the 75-lap Anthracite Assault big-block modified feature at Big Diamond Speedway.

Becoming the fifth different Super DIRT Series winner in five such races at Big Diamond, Friesen piloted his Halmar No. 44 to a victory worth $10,000 and a guaranteed starting spot in the Super DIRT Series' Billy Whittaker 200 feature in October at Oswego Speedway.

He was joined in Victory Lane by Allentown's Tyler Bartik, who captured the XCEL 600 cc modified feature in that tour's first stop at Big Diamond in 2024.

Perrego, who already has a Big Diamond feature win in 2024, and Matt Sheppard shared the front row for the feature after heat wins by Peter Britten, Sheppard, Erick Rudolph and Friesen. Alex Yankowski won the Last Chance Showdown.

"We had to be patient," Friesen said. "With them (Perrego and Sheppard) starting on the front row, they were going to be tough to beat."

Friesen, who started sixth, had a chance to take second place from Sheppard on the 17th lap, but a spin by Orwigsburg's Ken Eckert Jr. negated the opportunity.

Sheppard charged around Perrego for second place on the 21st lap, but that was negated when former track champion Billy Pauch Jr.'s car broke. That put Perrego back into second place for the restart.

Friesen passed Sheppard when the green flag waved and then went past Perrego on the 33rd tour. From there, Friesen drove off.

"This Halmar team unloaded a fast race car right from the get-go tonight," Friesen said. "We made little changes, but the changes we made for the feature worked."

Perrego, who moved into the Super DIRT Series points lead, said the track did not appear the same as most race nights at Big Diamond.

"This place usually blackens up and gets a wide black strip," he said. "But they did a phenomenal job with it; they had some brown spots all over."

Super DIRT Series star Mat Williamson was fourth ahead of former Big Diamond track champion Ryan Godown.

The Super DIRT Series tour moved to Selinsgrove Speedway on Wednesday night.

Bartik won the 600cc modified feature over runner-up Korey Inglin and third-place finisher Mark Bressler.