Corey Heim made his first start on a superspeedway in the Camping World Truck Series at Daytona International Speedway in the NextEra Energy 250. Heim started the day off strong after qualifying sixth for the season opening event.
Heim would remain in the top 10 throughout the opening stage as Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) was running 1-2-3. A late move cost Heim one position but he would still pick up seven stage points as he finished fourth.
As Heim was exiting his pit stall during the first stage break, another truck turned into the right front of his No. 51 JBL Tundra TRD Pro. The contact caused significant damage that would ultimately hinder the performance of his Toyota throughout the remainder of the event and forced the No. 51 team to exit the race on Lap 91.
Stage One Recap:
- Heim started the NextEra Energy 250 in the sixth position after putting down a lap time of 50.749 in qualifying earlier in the day.
- Five laps into the race, Heim remained in the sixth position as he was pushing Tyler Ankrum in the top lane.
- On Lap 8, Heim would drop to the bottom lane behind his two KBM teammates John Hunter Nemechek and Chandler Smith.
- As the first stage was winding down, KBM was running 1-2-3 before Heim tried to make a late move and would finish the stage in fourth.
Stage Two Recap:
- As Heim was exiting pit road during the stage break, he made contact with another competitor caused significant right front damage to his No. 51 JBL Tundra TRD Pro.
- This forced Heim to bring his JBL Tundra back down pit road for repairs and forced him to restart the second stage one lap down in the 35thposition.
- The pit road incident caused handling issues as Heim reported to crew chief Mardy Lindley that the steering wheel of the No. 51 Tundra would not stay straight.
- As the second stage continued, the No 51 team worked their way off the damage control clock but would ultimately finish 34th.
Final Stage Recap:
- Heim continued to deal with handling issues and restarted the final stage in 34th.
- The damage to the No. 51 JBL Tundra would force Heim to lose the draft and race around the 2.5-mile oval by himself.
- With 39 laps remaining in the season opener, Heim’s right front tire went down and would force him to bring the No. 51 Tundra down pit road for a fresh set of Goodyear tires and more repairs to the right front.
- Just 19 laps later, Heim suffered another right front flat that would bring out the fourth caution of the race. As Heim brought his JBL Tundra down pit road, the No. 51 team were forced to bring out the power tools in an attempt to repair the damage.
- On lap 91, crew chief Mardy Lindley came over the radio and told the No. 51, “we’re completely out of it”, as the damage from earlier in the race would relegate Heim to a 32nd-place finish.
NextEra Energy 250 Recap:
- Zane Smith picked up the fourth win of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career. Ben Rhodes, Christian Eckes, Tanner Gray, and Parker Kligerman rounded out the top-five finishers.
- There were 7 cautions for 27 laps. There were 18 lead changes among 10 drivers.
How Heim’s KBM Teammates Fared:
- Chandler Smith, driver of the No. 18 Toyota, finished 21st.
- John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 4 Toyota, finished 24th.
Camping World Trucks Owner’s Championship Standings:
The No. 51 team currently sits 30th in the Owner’s Championship standings.
Driver-Owner Kyle Busch will make his first Camping World Truck Series start of the season behind the wheel of the No. 51 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway on Friday, March. 4. Live coverage of the event will be on FS1, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM at 9 p.m. ET.