Racing has long been a family affair…brother racing brother, sons following fathers, daughters racing with fathers, and even spouses racing against one another.
Over the years, Camping World Truck Series driver Stewart Friesen has battled with his wife on the dirt tracks in modified and sprint race cars. The couple even counts a few drivers meetings as early “dates” in their budding relationship back in the early 2000’s.
But when the Truck Series takes to the dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend, the Friesens are hoping to battle it out at Thunder Valley in what would be Jessica’s debut of driving a race truck.
Stewart’s Truck Series team Halmar Friesen Racing is fielding a second truck for the race at Bristol. Stewart will be behind the wheel of his usual number 52 truck; while wife Jessica will be driving the number 62 truck.
Jessica spoke on the opportunity saying, “this will be a story for our grandkids someday. No matter what happens at this race, we went and did this. We kind of went out there, had fun and hopefully it turns out well. Hopefully, we’ll see. Who knows what could happen. Stewart says no pressure, so I’m just going to keep having that mentality.”
Stewart noted that there were no “friendly bets” between the couple on the race’s outcome; however, when it comes to the racing team…“I think on the crew, there’s a lot of side bets going on with our guys.”
Like all racers, Jessica began racing go karts when she was seven years old. In recent years, Jessica has put her racing career mostly on hold to concentrate on the couple’s son.
The couple’s five year old son Parker thought he had it all figured out…” Dad races the truck, you (mom) race the modified, and trucks don’t race on dirt, trucks race on the pavement. Parker was only two years old the last time his dad raced a truck on the dirt at Eldora Speedway.
Making it a double header event, Stewart will be racing in the Cup Series race on Sunday driving the number 77 car.
feature photo credit: By Dough4872 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=95092829