Friend Or Foe? Stewart Friesen Uses Controversial Slide Job On Jeff Strunk For ‘King of the Can’ $5,000 Mod Honors; Kyle Rohner (Crate Sportsman) and Butch Green (Street Stock) Also Triumph
(Event Press Release) SUSQUEHANNA, PA – Friend or foe?
Stewart Friesen used a go-for-broke slide job on his “pal” Jeff Strunk with two laps remaining in Sunday evening’s ‘King of the Can’ big-block/small-block Modified event at Penn Can Speedway to earn a $5,000 victory. Friesen, of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., supplanted Pennsylvania star Strunk out front following the race’s final caution on lap 48 of the 50-lap feature, drawing a rise from Strunk and the fans at the Keystone State oval.
November 13, 2011 Video Highlights
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King of the Can Modified Feature Highlights
Crate Sportsman Feature Highlights
RoC Street Stock Feature Highlights
The twice-postponed event, co-promoted by Brett Deyo and track managers Reed Miller and Al Wilcox, went off on a mild November afternoon with a full pit area. The ‘King of the Can’ concluded the Penn Can season and the VP-Racing Fuels-Pioneer Pole Buildings Inc. BD Motorsports Media-organized Short Track Four Crown Series of 2011.
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.’s Friesen received mixed reviews from the vocal crowd after exiting Tadd Parks’ No. 1 in Victory Lane.
Strunk, friends of the Friesen family dating back to the Alex Friesen-promoted special events of the 1990s, can often be found in Friesen’s pit during special Modified events such as Super DIRT Week at the Syracuse Mile and Eastern States Weekend at Orange County (N.Y.) Speedway.
“I went for the win there,” said Friesen, who previously won at Penn Can in ’10 – the track’s ‘Hot Summer Night’ special. “Jeff (Strunk) is like a brother to me and I wish it was anybody else. There’s definitely some mixed emotions.”
Strunk’s Norm Hansell-owned No. 357 started from the pole via a redraw of top qualifiers and took the lead at the outset. Friesen, meanwhile, rolled off the grid in 12th position. Strunk, of Bechtelsville, Pa., led the opening 18 laps before fifth-starter Pat Ward pressed his John Wight-owned No. 42P into the top spot at lap 19.
Finding the extreme high line of the one-third-mile track, it was Strunk regaining command at the halfway point.
Friesen, meanwhile, had climbed into third and was marching forward. At lap 31, the 28-year-old used the high line to clear Ward for second. It appeared that Friesen would settle for runner-up status until Mike Schane’s slowing No. M16 drew the aforementioned caution on the 48th lap.
Strunk swung wide into turn one on the restart, leaving Friesen the bottom. Friesen’s car entered the corner hard, slid up and took Strunk’s groove, clipping the left-front of Strunk’s mount. As the crowd went wild, Friesen paced the final lap-and-three-quarters to post the win: earning five grand, two passes to the March Selinsgrove (Pa.) Race of Champions event and a tire courtesy of Lias Tire/American Racer.
An angered Strunk expressed his frustrations with Friesen’s driving tactics during the post-race interview. He did earn $925 in lap money to accompany his runner-up finish.
Ward, of Genoa, N.Y., was third followed by ninth-starter Jimmy Phelps of Baldwinsville, N.Y., driving the Heinke Baldwin Racing No. 98H Troyer and 22nd-starter Justin Holland of White Lake, N.Y., in the Rockbusters No. 280. Holland picked up the Manmiller Electric Hard Charger Award.
Finishing sixth through 10th, respectively, were Danny Johnson of Rochester, N.Y. (recovering from spins on laps 19 and 29), two-time track champion Mike Gular of Green Lane, Pa., veteran Mike Colsten of Binghamton, N.Y. (from 14th), 21st-starter Mike Mahaney of Kings Ferry, N.Y., and Danny Creeden of Middletown, N.Y.
Heat winners, earning $50 from VP Racing Fuels, were Arnie Slade, Creeden, Phelps, Ward and Schane. Holland and Mitch Gibbs split the consolations. Forty-one Modifieds signed in.
Accord (N.Y.) Speedway regular Kyle Rohner of Bushkill Falls, Pa., won the 25-lap accompanying Crate (602) Sportsman event, worth $1,000. Anthony Perrego charged from the rear of the field to finish second after apparent runner-up Kenny Boniface came up light on the scales.
Penn Can champion Mike Nagel Jr. was third, followed by Central New York driver Bob Henry Jr. and track regular Alex Stanton. Rohner led the final 15 laps of the main after starting third.
Crate Sportsman heat winners were Perrego, Alex Tonkin, Paul Rooney and Bob Henry Jr. Adam MacGeorge topped the consolation. A field of 32 Crate Sportsman signed in.
Butch Green of Newark Valley, N.Y., capped the Trackside Products Race of Champions Street Stock Series season with a $500 win in the 25-lap feature. Bob Buono, meanwhile, earned the RoC Street Stock title. Rich Green was second, followed by Jared Hill, Louie Gordinier and Mike Wilbur.
Thirty-six Street Stocks registered for action. Heat winners were Buono, Tom Eiklor, Butch Green and Earl Zimmer. Brenton Miller scored the consolation.
BD Motorsports Media now begins preparations for 2012 events including the huge $10,000 ‘Clash at the Can’ announced for June 2012 at Penn Can Speedway – the highest paying race in speedway history! Keep posted to www.bdmotorsportsmedia.com for news and updates.
CAN QUIPS: Track champion Kevin Hartnett lost an engine during qualifying in his self-owned No. 88. A guaranteed starter, the Troy, Pa., driver picked up a ride in Bobby Trapper Jr.’s No. 2 for the feature but pulled off early. Duane Howard, southeastern Pennsy star, was also an early retiree with mechanical woes on lap 18 with the BPG Racing No. 4….
Some $1,400 in lap money plus contingencies and bonuses were distributed to Modified racers….
The Jimmy Phelps team arrived at the track without sail panels, prompting pit-area fabrication by the Randy Kisacky led crew….
Friesen had celebrated his Utica-Rome (N.Y.) Speedway Modified championship at the speedway’s banquet – held at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, N.Y. – on Saturday night. Strunk, meanwhile, was honored for a Big Diamond (Pa.) Speedway title on Friday in Pottsville, Pa….
Danny Johnson had raced from 13th starting position to third – almost entirely under green-flag conditions – until spinning Mike Payne’s No. 7z on lap 19….
Mike Gular drove his final race for car owner Terry Fasnacht, who is exiting the sport….
The Modified feature was completed by 6:45 p.m., sending fans home at an early hour….
KING OF THE CAN RACE SUMMARY – NOV. 13, 2011
King of the Can Modified Feature Finish (50 laps): STEWART FRIESEN ($5,000), Jeff Strunk, Pat Ward, Jimmy Phelps, Justin Holland, Danny Johnson, Mike Gular, Mike Colsten, Mike Mahaney, Danny Creeden, Joey Grammes, Dan Pompey, Michael Weinert, Kevin Bates, Mike Schane, Joey Colsten, Bobby Trapper, Nick Rochinski, Arnie Slade, Scott Ferrier, Al Rudalavage, Mike Lartz, Duane Howard, Mitch Gibbs, Brett Tonkin, Steve Babicek, Kevin Hartnett.
Did Not Qualify: Mike Clapperton, Ryan Watt, Ray Bliss, Jim Mahaney, Chad Cook, Mike Marold Jr., John Juhl, Roy Shields, Bobby Trapper Jr., Casey Williams, Mike Ruggiero, Brian Malcolm, Alan Kellogg, Ray Dann.
Pioneer Pole Buildings Inc. ‘Gambler’s Bonus’ ($1,000): Stewart Friesen
Lap Money: Jeff Strunk ($925), Pat Ward ($125), Danny Creeden ($100), Danny Johnson ($50), Mike Mahaney ($50), Justin Holland ($50), Mike Schane ($25), Mike Gular ($25), Michael Weinert ($25), Kevin Bates ($25)
VP Racing Fuels Heat Winners ($50 each): Arnie Slade, Danny Creeden, Jimmy Phelps, Pat Ward, Mike Schane
Manmiller Electric Hard Charger Award ($100): Justin Holland
BFP Specialty Bonus ($250 certificate): Joey Grammes
American Racer Tire Giveaway No. 1: Stewart Friesen
American Racer Tire Giveaway No. 2: Ryan Watt
American Racer Tire Giveaway No. 3: Mike Mahaney
Selinsgrove Speedway Icebreaker Two Free Passes: Stewart Friesen
Shiley Fabrication Hard Luck Award (Bumpers and Nerf Bars): Kevin Hartnett
Shiley Fabrication Loyalty Award (Bumpers, Nerf Bars, Body & Roof Mounts, etc.): Brett Tonkin
ERK Steering Box Rebuild (Modified): Brian Malcolm
ERK Steering Box Rebuild (Sportsman): Anthony Perrego
S&D Bodyline $100 Discount Off Body: Mike Clapperton
Crate Sportsman Feature Finish (25 laps): KYLE ROHNER ($1,000), Anthony Perrego, Mike Nagel Jr., Bob Henry Jr., Alex Stanton, Phil Recchio, John Aumick, Tyler Dippel, Jamie Batzel, Lem Atkins, Bob Johnson, Ben Wheeler, Adam MacGeorge, Donnie Lawson, Jack Gentile, John Ferrier, Jeff Crambo, Casey Pavlick, Tommy Johnson, Tyler Boniface, Tyler Siri, Paul Rooney, Alex Tonkin.
Disqualified: Kenny Boniface.
Did Not Qualify: Ray Bliss, Dan Conklin, Wayne Devantoy, Ryan Stone, Mark Clauss, Brad Cicio, Dan Sellen, Guy Harby.
Trackside Products Race of Champions Street Stock Feature Finish (25 laps): BUTCH GREEN ($500), Rich Green, Jared Hill, Louie Gordinier, Mike Wilbur, Kurt Stebbins, Gene Sharpsteen, Matt Spencer, Jon Carpenter, Corey Costa, Dave Pope, Earl Zimmer, Brenton Miller, Bob Buono, Rich Powell, Tom Eiklor, Buck Mills, Shane Wolf Sr., Dan Wood, Paul Harrington, Chad Stone, Kane Stebbins, Laverne Knickerbocker, Don Russel Jr.
Trackside Products RoC Street Stock Champion: Bob Buono.
Did Not Qualify: Joe George, Rob Stevens, Toby Sparks, Jason Burgher, Scott Tifft, Allison Pierce, Rob Stevens, John Hoover, Duane Kinne, Jack Halcomb, Harry Marvin III, Mike Seamon.