Titans Battle at Delaware International, Stewart Friesen Wins His Second ‘Diamond State 50’

DELMAR, DE – It was a crowd-pleasing, back-and-forth battle between the sport’s titans.

At the end of 50 laps around Delaware International Speedway, Stewart Friesen emerged victorious from Tuesday night’s Hurlock Auto & Speed Supply ‘Diamond State 50’ after a rim-riding performance.

Friesen took home $5,000 from the posted purse, $200 as the Precision Hydraulic & Oil Halfway leader and a pair of Oakley sunglasses from Design for Vision and Sunglass Central.

“I’ll be spending a lot of time here in Delaware this month,” Friesen, 37, said after climbing to the roof of his Halmar International No. 44 big-block. “We run the (NASCAR) Truck at Dover (Del., Aug. 21) and in two weeks we are back at Georgetown (Del., for the Aug. 25 STSS event).”

The rescheduled ‘Diamond State 50’ from August drew an event record 38 STSS Modifieds to the Cathell family’s facility for the fifth Velocita-USA South Region event of 2020 for the Modifieds and fourth ’20 Crate 602 Sportsman South point race.

Friesen and rival Sheppard started the 50-lap grind from the fourth row, with Friesen seventh and Sheppard eighth.

Ryan Watt fired off the pole following the Beyea Custom Headers redraw and led the opening seven laps before Billy Pauch Jr., off the strength of two consecutive STSS South Region triumphs, powered to the top spot on lap eight.

Working the extreme inside lane, Sheppard made it to the front before Friesen, taking the lead on the 13th tour of the half-mile track.

On lap 14, Friesen arrived in second and began stalking Sheppard trying different lanes on the tacky Delaware clay. Friesen found the very topside of the speedway to his liking, and after an extended wheel-to-wheel battle, forged ahead on the 23rd circuit.

The race was far from over, however.

Negotiating lapped traffic after lap 30 allowed Sheppard to reel Friesen back in; and at one point put the nose of the Hurlock Auto & Speed Supply No. 9s back into the top spot.

Friesen’s high-side momentum carried him back to a lead he would never relinquish despite a final restart with nine laps remaining.

The win for the Sprakers, N.Y., driver was his second in the ‘Diamond State 50’ having previously won the event in 2016 and series-leading 24th career victory.

Friesen now becomes eligible for the Stockley Tavern ‘Delaware Double-Down’ $2,000 cash bonus if he can come back and win the Georgetown STSS event on Aug. 25.

Sheppard, of Savannah, N.Y., saw his streak of back-to-back ‘Diamond State 50’ triumphs end with a runner-up finish worth $3,050. Jimmy Horton of Neshanic Station, N.J., rode the topside of the track from 15th to complete the podium with the Halmar International No. 43.  

Andy Bachetti of Sheffield, Mass., advanced from 20th to fourth, earning the Danny’s Pizza Pizzazz $200 Hard Charger Award. Danny Bouc of Pipersville, Pa., climbed from 12th to finish fifth in the Craig and Leslie Pondish-owned No. 6.

Placing sixth through 10th, respectively, were David Van Horn of Ringoes, N.J., in the Fred Vahlsing No. 323ov; reigning track champion Jordan Watson of Milford, Del., after a roller-coaster outing back and forth through the field; pole starter Watt of Boyertown, Pa.; Jeff Strunk, also of Boyertown, Pa., in the Glenn Hyneman No. 126; and Tyler Dippel of Wallkill, N.Y., after pitting with a right-front suspension issue.

Pauch Jr., who had run inside the top-three with Rick Holsten’s No. 96, saw his run end on lap 40 with a power steering line issue causing a plume of smoke.

Ad-Art Sign Company $50 heat winners were Dippel, Sheppard, Watson and Pauch Jr. Matt Stangle topped the consolation.

The STSS Crate 602 Sportsman 25-lap main event saw a youth movement. Tanner Van Doren of Walnutport, Pa., drove a flawless race to put his name on the STSS win list. Van Doren picked up $1,500 for his efforts.

Van Doren led from start-to-finish to take the Sunoco checkered flag, but it was far from an easy triumph. First State standout Scott Hitchens moved into second on the opening lap and pressured Van Doren persistently.

Van Doren adjusted his line over the final 10 circuits, moving higher on the track and held Hitchens at bay for a crowd-pleasing victory.

Hitchens, of Dagsboro, Del., finished second, followed by Laurel, Del.’s Adam White, 10th-starter Tim Hartman Jr. of Niskayuna, N.Y., and Joe Toth of Newtown, Pa.

A robust field of 31 Crate 602 Sportsman took part in the program.

The Delaware Super Trucks and Delmarva Chargers took part in the program. Jerry Hill topped a 23-truck field to earn the Delaware Super Truck triumph and Joe Waters dominated the 12-lap Delmarva Charger event which ran caution-free.

Next up for the STSS is the Melon 1 ‘Blast at the Beach’ presented by Earth Movers LLC Tuesday, Aug. 25 at Georgetown (Del.) Speedway. STSS Modifieds (35 laps, $6,000 to win), STSS Crate 602 Sportsman (25 laps, $1,500 to win), Delaware Super Trucks and Delmarva Chargers complete the program. A rain date of Aug. 26 is in place for this event.

To learn more about the Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco, visit www.shorttracksuperseries.com, e-mail bdmotorsportsmedia@gmail.com, check out ‘Short Track Super Series’ on Facebook or @ShortTrackSS on Twitter or Instagram.

The Short Track Super Series is presented by American Racer/Lias Tire, Sunoco Race Fuel, Insinger Performance, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Halmar International, Velocita-USA, Design for Vision/Sunglass Central, Rob Sherlock Roofing, ATL Racing Fuel Cells, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, Beyea Custom Headers, Bicknell Racing Products, Dirt Track Digest, EIBACH Springs, Escape RV, Fast Axle, Fox Racing Shocks, Henry’s Exhaust, Hig Fab, HyperCo, Kirkey Racing Fabrication, Land Hoe Maintenance, K&N, MJK Home Maintenance, Precision Hydraulic & Oil, QA1, Racing Optics, Superior Remodeling, Teo-Pro Car, VAHLCO, Velocita, WELD Racing & Wilwood.


Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Velocita-USA South Region Event No. 5 Modified Feature Finish (50 laps):  STEWART FRIESEN, Matt Sheppard, Jimmy Horton, Andy Bachetti, Danny Bouc, David Van Horn Jr., Jordan Watson, Ryan Watt, Jeff Strunk, Tyler Dippel, Richie Pratt Jr., Carson Wright, H.J. Bunting, Ryan Riddle, Danny Hieber, John Willman, Joseph Watson, Brandon Watkins, Robert Dutton, Ray Swinehart, Mike Gular, Billy Pauch Jr., Matt Stangle, Ryan Godown, Rick Laubach, Norman Short.

Did Not Qualify: Scott Ambruster, Kevin Gardner, John Bailey, Austin Hubbard, Ricky Johnson III, Jordn Justice, Kevin Sockriter, Matt Smith, Matt Hawkins, Larry Wight, Neal Williams, Brandon Grosso.

Ad-Art Sign Company Heat Winner Bonus ($50 Each): Tyler Dippel, Matt Sheppard, Jordan Watson & Billy Pauch Jr.
American Racer/Lias Tire Bonuses (FREE Tire Certificate): Jordan Watson (seventh) & Danny Hieber (17th)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bucks ($50): Danny Bouc
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Bonuses ($50 Gift Cards):
Andy Bachetti (fourth) & Jeff Strunk (ninth)
Bill Brown & Company Overall Heat-Race Hard Charger ($50): Danny Bouc (ninth to second)
Danny’s Pizza Pizzazz Hard Charger Award ($200): Andy Bachetti (20th to fourth)
Design for Vision/Sunglass Central Winner’s Shades (Oakley Fuel Cell Sunglasses): Stewart Friesen
EIBACH Springs Bonus ($100 Certificate): David Van Horn (sixth)
Henry’s Exhaust Power Position ($50 Certificate): Richie Pratt Jr. (11th)
Precision Hydraulic & Oil Halfway Leader Bonus ($200): Stewart Friesen
Racing Optics Bonus (Tearoff Sleeve): Jimmy Horton (third)
Sunoco Race Fuels/Insinger Performance Bonuses ($50 Certificates): Matt Sheppard (second), Carson Wright (12th) & Billy Pauch Jr. (22nd)
Wilwood Brakes Bonus ($75 Certificate): Jordan Watson (seventh)

Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Crate 602 Sportsman South Region Event No. 4 Feature Finish (25 laps): TANNER VAN DOREN, Scott Hitchens, Adam White, Tim Hartman Jr., Joe Toth, Michael White, Tom Moore Jr., Trent Willey, Jim Housworth, James Hill, Matt Peck, Kevin Borden, Brad Roberts, Anthony Tramontana, Ryan Simmons, Samantha Muller, Tom Princiotta, George Richardson, John Stevenson, Greg Nailor Jr., Freddy Massey, Erik McKinney, Sean Metz, David Jenkins, William Adams.

Did Not Qualify: Justin Eason, Justin Riley, Robert Messick, Brett Kern, Sean Weiss, Matt Smith.

American Racer/Lias Tire Bonus (FREE Tire Certificate): Tom Moore Jr. (seventh)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bucks ($25): Trent Willey

Delaware Super Truck Feature Finish (12 laps): JERRY HILL, Matthew Smith, David Smith, Ryan Efford, Mark Townsend, Dale Elliott, Kirk Miles Sr., Kyle Brasure, J.R. Bergman, Danny DiGrazio, Michelle Jackson, Dick Beauchamp, Thomas Jackson, Ronnie Holloway, Bill Dean, Trent Marine, Nate Benson, Dan Goehner, T.J. Williams, Shane Clogg, T.J. Hazlewood, Adam Smart, Mike Hovatter.

Delmarva Charger Feature Finish (12 laps): JOEY WATERS, Chris ‘Tippy’ Martinez, Chris Carroll, Ashley Merritt, Chris Myers, Randy Merritt, Paul Gary, Mike Harmon, Jay Lowman, John Bailey.