Corey Heim started Saturday’s CRC Brakleen 150 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway in 17th after Friday’s qualifying session was canceled due to rain. Lining up per NASCAR’s performance matrix system snapped Heim’s six-race streak of starting inside of the top-five.
After dealing with handling issues in the opening stage, Heim was able to rebound and run inside of the top-five for the final two stages and was chasing down the leaders from third with just six laps to go. Heim pulled within half a second of Chandler Smith in first with five to go before his JBL Tundra began to tighten up again, dropping him back to fourth where he would take the checkered flag, earning his third career top-five finish.
The No. 51 team will compete for the Camping World Truck Series owner’s title when the playoffs begin next week at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. With the points reset, the No. 51 will begin the playoffs in the fifth seed and seven points above the cutoff line to advance to the Round of 8.
Stage One Recap:
- Heim lined up for Saturday’s 60-lap event at Pocono Raceway in 17th per NASCAR’s performance matrix system after Friday’s on-track activities were canceled due to weather.
- When the second caution of the race came out on lap 8, Heim communicated that his JBL Tundra was “significantly tight off throttle” while running in 17th.
- As the field went back green on lap 13, Heim powered his way up to 10th in the last two laps before the end of the opening stanza, earning one stage point for the No. 51 team.
Stage Two Recap:
- With differing pit strategies throughout the field, crew chief Mardy Lindley elected for the No. 51 team to stay out on track with the intention of pitting before the end of the stage.
- Heim restarted the second stage in seventh but quickly worked his way into the top-five where he would run for much of the stage.
- With two laps left in the middle stanza, Heim was scored in third as he brought his JBL Tundra down pit road for a four tire and fuel stop before the stage break.
- The No. 51 team sent Heim back out on track and took the green-and-white checkered flag in 24th.
Final Stage Recap:
- As pit stops cycled through at the stage break, Heim would restart back inside the top-five as he lined up in the second row for the final stage.
- Heim continued his strong run inside the top-five as the final stage went on and was scored in third as he started to chase down the leaders with six to go.
- The 20-year-old driver was within half a second of his KBM teammate Chandler Smith in first with five to go but was unable to get clean air and make a move to contend for the lead.
- Over the course of the final five laps, Heim fell back to fourth where he would take the checkered flag and came over the radio at the end of the race and said his JBL Tundra “got tight there at the end”.
Corey Heim, driver of the No. 51 JBL Tundra TRD Pro for KBM
What was the conversation with John Hunter Nemechek post-race about the late-race battle for a podium position?
“I feel like we caught up to him (John Hunter Nemechek) so fast and Chandler (Smith) and Ryan (Preece) were racing their tails off. Our Tundra TRD Pro was so good today and all the guys back at the shop, at KBM, did such a great job. Just needed a little bit more there at the end. I feel like if we had track position, we were probably the best truck, but that’s part of it. We’re going to get them next time.”
CRC Brakleen 150 Race Recap:
- Chandler Smith earned his fourth career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win. Ryan Preece, John Hunter Nemechek, Corey Heim, and Carson Hocevar rounded out the top-five finishers.
- There were five cautions for 20 laps and five lead changes among three drivers.
How Heim’s KBM Teammates Fared:
- Chandler Smith, driver of the No. 18 Toyota, finished first.
- John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 4 Toyota, finished third.
Camping World Trucks Owner’s Championship Standings:
The No. 51 team advanced to the Camping World Truck Series owner’s playoffs via Corey Heim’s two wins in the regular season and will be in the fifth seed. With the points reset, they will start the playoffs seven points above the cutoff line to advance to the Round of 8.
Corey Heim and the No. 51 Crescent team will open the playoffs at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park next week on Friday, July 29. Live coverage of the TSport 200 will be on Fs1, Motor Racing Network, and SiriusXM at 9pm ET.