There’s a new team in town.
Chris Larsen, owner of Halmar International, and Stewart Friesen, a decorated dirt track racer in the Modified and Sprint Car ranks, have teamed up to form Halmar Friesen Racing.
Halmar Friesen Racing will run full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with Friesen driving the No. 52 Halmar International Chevrolet Silverado.
Friesen made his Truck Series debut at the Dirt Derby at Eldora Speedway last season.
Larsen had partnered with Friesen’s Modified team and they bought an ECR engine to run at Eldora. After running Eldora, Friesen told POPULAR SPEED, “We got a taste of it, but we wanted more.”
So the team ran five more races in 2016, finishing as high as 13th at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and came away from the season with an understanding of what they had as a team.
Sometimes it takes a while for brand new teams to gel together and develop chemistry, but don’t expect Halmar Friesen Racing to fall into that category. Friesen and the team are off to a good start and are on target to be ready to compete at Daytona come February.
“We’re going to the races with a top-five team,” Friesen said.
The belief comes from the fact that Halmar Friesen Racing has partnered with GMS Racing, fresh off winning a championship with series veteran Johnny Sauter. Collaborating with fellow Chevrolet stablemate GMS Racing should help Halmar Friesen Racing get up to speed, rather quickly, pun intended.
“It’s been a good relationship so far with GMS, it’s something to be proud of. At the same time, we want it to be a two-way street, and be able to help them as well,” Friesen said.
Not only is the newly-formed Halmar Friesen Racing aligned with a championship-winning team in GMS Racing, they have also brought on Tommy Baldwin Jr. to manage the day-to-day operations.
Friesen has nothing but the highest praise for Baldwin, who recently shut down his Monster Energy Cup Series team, saying, “It’s been awesome to work with Tommy so far. He’s a great leader and his guys listen to him. He’s a real racer.”
Atop the pit box will be Trip Bruce, who worked with Baldwin in the K&N Pro Series East, while also winning a championship and 10 wins with Johnny Benson in the Truck Series.
Entering the year, Friesen is keeping his goals in check, stating they’re
“just looking to take it one week at a time and develop consistency with our program”.
“We’re also trying to not tear too much stuff up,” Friesen added.
If they manage to avoid mishaps and run consistently, there is potential for the team to run just as well as GMS Racing.
“I can’t wait to get to work and play in the draft at Daytona and race at places I’ve only seen on TV,” he said. “Two years ago, if you would have told me I’d be racing at Daytona, I would have said you’re joking.”
Shane Carlson is a POPULAR SPEED Development Journalist
EMAIL SHANE AT email@example.com
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