In 2019, Stewart Friesen reached the NASCAR Gander Truck Series Championship Round. In 2020, he and his Halmar Friesen Racing team will make the jump to Toyota and Toyota Racing Development, for which he will pilot the #52 Toyota Tundra. The team announced the news on Tuesday.
“We were all very impressed after spending time with Toyota,” Friesen stated. “TRD has been welcoming to our organization. With their support, knowledge and technology, we hope to bring our team to another level.”
A dirt track racer, Friesen began racing full-time in the Truck Series in 2018 after competing on a part-time basis in 2016 and 2017. Driving the #52 Chevrolet Silverado, he made the playoffs but was eliminated after the first round; he ended his maiden full campaign seventh in points. In 2019, HFR made strides as he scored his first career Truck win at Eldora Speedway, followed by winning in the penultimate race at ISM Raceway to qualify for the Championship Round. After starting on the pole in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, he finished eleventh and concluded the season fourth in the standings.
In making the switch to Toyota, HFR joins Kyle Busch Motorsports and Hattori Racing Enterprises as the confirmed full-time Toyota Truck Series teams so far. KBM will provide trucks to HFR, while Gene Nead joins the team as competition director; a longtime crew chief in NASCAR’s national series, Nead won the 2005 Truck championship with Ted Musgrave. His last foray as a crew chief was with Matt DiBenedetto in the NASCAR Cup Series.
“The championship is our goal,” team principal Chris Larsen added. “Making it to the Final Four was an accomplishment, but we’re all competitive. You want to be sitting at the head table at the series banquet. We’re working to be that team.”