Date: April 14, 2023
Event: Long John Silver’s 200 (Race 7 of 23)
Series: NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
Location: Martinsville Speedway (0.526-mile oval)
Format: Three Stages; 50/50/24
Start/Finish: 2nd/2nd (Running, completed 124 of 124 laps)
Winner: Corey Heim of TRICON Garage (Toyota)
For the first time in the history of NASCAR, a National Series raced on oval track with wet-weather tires and Kyle Busch proved to be the fastest driver on the special tires. Once the race got underway, Busch maneuvered his way around pole sitter Zane Smith on lap 6 and had pulled away from the field until NASCAR through a competition caution on lap 28 with the track having dried up. Once pit road was dry, NASCAR brought the field down pit road to put ‘slicks’ back on.
Shortly after going back green, former KBM driver Corey Heim was able to make his way around Busch and then remained out front for the remainder of Stage 1. While under caution for the stage break, the rain began to fall again and despite having additional sets of wet-weather tires, NASCAR declared a red-flag period for over 20 minutes.
When the action resumed Heim would maintain the lead for all of Stage Two and the first 24 laps of the Final Stage before a light rain began to fall again over the Virginia track. Shortly after bringing the field down pit road, NASCAR declared the race official with 76 laps remaining despite having the additional sets of wet-weather tires and the rain being just a light mist.
Heim would pick up his third career Truck Series victory and Busch would finish second for the 33rd time in Truck Series action. ‘Rowdy’ has now finished first or second 24 times across his last 29 Truck Series starts.
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 51 Zariz Transport Chevrolet for KBM:
Could you have done anything different to bring home the win tonight?
“No. We didn’t have a good enough short-turn truck tonight. Being a little bit loose and free that we were, we were hoping that would pay off in the long run but never had a long run. The longest run of the race was on rain tires. It did not go our way today, unfortunately. The Zariz Transport Silverado was good enough for second, unfortunately never got the long run that we were hoping to get. I thought we needed a 20, 30-lap run. I could see the 11 was loose as well and I was hoping he would just burn his stuff up and we could get to him.”
Long John Silver’s 200 Race Recap:
- Corey Heim won Friday night’s Long John Silver’s 200. It was his first victory of 2023 and the third victory of his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series career. Busch finished second, while Zane Smith, Ty Majeski and Tanner Gray rounded out the top five.
- There were six cautions for 63 laps and two lead changes among three drivers, including Busch who led once times for 37 laps.
Craftsman Truck Series Owner Standings:
The No. 51 team leaves the seventh race of the season third in the Craftsman Truck Series owner point standings, 48 tallies behind the No. 98 team.