Trenton, NJ — Stewart Friesen wants another photograph in his garage.
The likeable Canadian driver, who now resides in Old Forge, N.Y., still looks at the picture that shows him, Joey Payne and Jack Hewitt in Victory Lane from the indoor TQ-Midget race in Niagara Falls, N.Y.
That picture brings a smile to his face as it marked the one and only indoor victory that Friesen, 27, scored when he was a mere 16-year-old driver.
Now, he wants more pictures and Victory Lane photos.
Friesen is stoked for the upcoming Gambler’s Classic indoor TQ-Midget race at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., on January 27-29, 2011, and the Coffee Cup indoor event at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, R.I., on February 5.
“I love racing indoors,” Friesen said. “There is nothing like it for the drivers and fans.
“I think one of the reasons I enjoy it so much is due to the cross section of drivers you get at those events. You get guys from the dirt and asphalt world. You have drivers who run TQ-Midgets all season outside. You have guys who run the NASCAR Modified Tour. There are guys who run dirt Modifieds, Sprint Cars and Midgets. All of them seem to migrate to the indoor events.”
Friesen enters the winter indoor events as one of the most decorated drivers of ’10.
He tied NASCAR All-American Racing Series champion Keith Rocco for the most wins in the Northeast (25), as compiled by Area Auto Racing News.
Twenty-four of those wins came in dirt Modified racing, while another came in a 360 Sprint Car at Ransomville (N.Y.) Speedway.
His dirt Modified event victories came at Five Mile Point Speedway in Kirkwood, N.Y (10 wins); Utica-Rome Speedway in Vernon, N.Y. (five wins); Fonda (N.Y.) Speedway (two wins); Ransomville (N.Y.) Speedway (two wins); and one win each at the following tracks, Cayuga County Fair Speedway in Weedsport, N.Y.; Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, Pa.; the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, N.Y.; Penn Can Speedway in Susquehanna, Pa.; and Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla.
Now, Friesen wants to focus his efforts on the indoor TQ-Midget world.
“The intensity of racing is something like you get at the dirt-track bullrings,” Friesen said. “I would equate the indoor circuit as the same intensity you get from racing at Accord, Five Mile Point or Penn Can speedways. It’s pretty incredible when you’re racing in Atlantic City and/or Providence and you’re constantly turning left, trying to avoid the guy in front and/or in back of you.”
There is another reason why Friesen likes the indoor racing TQ-Midget circuit.
“It is a homecoming of sorts,” he said. “My owner Mel Rapp gave me my first TQ-Midget ride when I was a teenager and that car I drove then is driven by James Michael Friesen.
“Mel’s given me a lot over the years. He’s given me an opportunity to race indoors and I appreciate his loyalty.”
The Friesen name is well represented in Atlantic City and Providence.
Stewart is joined by his cousins, James Michael and Curtis.
“For us, it’s like a family reunion,” Friesen said. “There is no better place to have a family reunion than at a race track. The sport has united our family for years.”
Tickets for the Atlantic City Indoor Race are currently on sale through Ticketmaster (1-800-736-1420) or online at www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets are available with no extra fee applied at the Boardwalk Hall box office and at the Area Auto Racing News office in Trenton, N.J. at 609-888-3618
Activity in Atlantic City will begin on Thurs., Jan. 27, with paid practice from 5-10 p.m.
Weekend activity will begin on Fri., Jan. 28, at 4:30 p.m. with time trials. The night will include heat events for TQ-Midgets and B-Mains for the 600cc Micro Sprint Cars, Slingshots and Champ Karts. It will culminate with a 20-lap 600cc Micro Sprint Car main event and a 30-lap TQ-Midget feature race.
The Sat., Jan. 29, program kicks off at 5 p.m. with the Fanfest, which will be held on the indoor racing surface.
The Saturday-night portion of the show is slated to begin at 7 p.m. Heat races and semis will lead up the 40-lap “Gamblers Classic” for TQ-Midgets, with Slingshots and Champ Karts also on the schedule.
Tickets for the Coffee Cup are available at the Dunkin’ Donuts box office, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000.
TQ-Midgets and Champ Karts will share the one-day card which begins at 7 p.m.
Sources: Jerry Reigle/AARN