Corey Heim earned his second career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win in just his ninth start in Saturday’s Toyota 200 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway. The win came with a $50,000 bonus in the Triple Truck Challenge and has a change to win up to $500,000 if he can win the final two races of the challenge.
Heim earned his first career Cometic Gasket Pole Award in Friday’s one-lap qualifying session and led twice for 20 laps in the race. He earned an additional 12 stage points for the No. 51 team after finishing second and eighth in the opening two stages. With just three laps remaining in the scheduled 165-lap event, Heim was running in third when the caution flag came out, setting up NASCAR Overtime.
The talented teenager lined up on the inside of the front row for the ensuing restart when the first two competitors elected to take the top lane. Heim got a good jump on the restart and battled his Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) teammate Chandler Smith into Turn 1 before clearing him on the exit of Turn 2. Heim drove away from the field as the caution flag came out after he took the white flag, declaring him the winner.
Stage One Recap:
- Heim earned his first career pole for Saturday’s Toyota 200 at Gateway after laying down a lap time of 32.554 seconds at 138.232 mph in Friday evenings qualifying session.
- The talented teenager jumped out to lead the first 17 laps of the race before forfeiting the lead to his KBM teammate Chandler Smith.
- As the green-and-white checkered came out to conclude Stage One, Heim was scored in second, earning nine stage points for the No. 51 team.
- At the stage break, Heim communicated that his No. 51 JBL Tundra “had no literal grip during the long run”.
Stage Two Recap:
- The No. 51 team executed a four tire and fuel stop at the stage break and sent Heim back out onto the track to restart in third.
- When the second caution flag of the day came out on Lap 46, Heim came over the radio and communicated that his JBL Tundra was “firing off too free on exit”.
- Despite battling handling issues throughout the middle stanza, Heim finished Stage Two in eighth, tallying an additional three stage points for the No. 51 team.
Final Stage Recap:
- Heim restarted the final stage on the outside of the second row and made a dive to the inside of the No. 42 of Carson Hocevar as the field entered Turn 1. Heim was unable to get his No. 51 Tundra to stick on exit and fell back into his third position as the field came back to the stripe.
- With 75 laps to go, Heim was running in fourth when spotter Derek Kneeland communicated to his driver that he’s “still the fastest truck on the track”.
- The Georgia native continued to drive within the top-five as the laps were winding down in the Toyota 200 and found himself just a second back of the leader with 20 laps remaining.
- With just three laps remaining, Heim was running in third when the 10th caution of the race came out to force NASCAR Overtime.
- As the field came to the choose line, race leader Christian Eckes and second place Derek Kraus chose the outside lane, opening up a spot on the front row for Heim with KBM teammate Chandler Smith lined up behind him.
- On the restart, Heim was able to get a good jump as he and Smith battled down into Turn 1. On the exit of Turn 2, Heim was able to clear the No. 18 and retake the lead.
- Heim had already taken the white flag when the caution flag came out on Lap 165, declaring Heim the winner, marking his second career win in just nine starts.
Corey Heim, driver of the No. 51 JBL Tundra TRD Pro for KBM
How would you sum up today’s race?
“For the rest of this year, I’ve found myself in bad spots and really just not been able to finish races so today really helped my mindset of just finishing, being there in the end and just keeping my truck clean. I felt like out of the whole entire top-10, everyone had damage except for me. It was great for a situation in the end, where we could win the race. Everyone at KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports) and JBL, this Tundra TRD Pro was just phenomenal today. Like I said, just staying up front, staying out of trouble.”
What are your emotions like?
“It’s phenomenal. I’ve been here once before and there was nowhere near the good turn out as there was today. It was phenomenal to see all of these fans today at the Toyota 200. It was a great show.”
Can you talk about your run?
“It was a great day. I just tried to stay out front and stay out of trouble for the most part. I’ve had my ups and downs this year where I’ve kind of been a little too aggressive and it came back to bite me. I was just trying to stay up front and keep my truck clean in the end and it all paid off. My Tundra TRD Pro was phenomenal. KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports) did a great job and I’m proud to be a part of this Toyota 200.”
Toyota 200 Race Recap:
- Corey Heim earned his second career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win. Christian Eckes, Chandler Smith, Stewart Friesen and Johnny Sauter rounded out the top-five finishers.
- There were 11 cautions for 54 laps and 11 lead changes among nine drivers, including Heim who led twice for 20 laps.
How Heim’s KBM Teammates Fared:
- Chandler Smith, driver of the No. 18 Toyota, finished third.
- John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 4 Toyota, finished 35th.
Camping World Trucks Owner’s Championship Standings:
With the win, the No. 51 team jumped up one spot in the Owner’s Championship standings to eighth. They now sit 65 points behind the No. 99 ThorSport Racing team in first.
Owner-driver Kyle Busch will be back behind the wheel of the No. 51 Yahoo! Tundra TRD Pro for his fifth and final start of 2022 next week as Camping World Truck Series action heads to Sonoma (Cali.) Raceway. Live coverage of the DoorDash 250 will be on FS1, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM at 7:30 p.m. ET.