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NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series

Corey Heim Finishes Top Five Again at Texas

Corey Heim

Corey Heim at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday afternoon. (Photo: Sean Folsom | The Podium Finish)

FORT WORTH, Texas — Corey Heim has been the most consistent driver in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series since joining TRICON Garage ahead of the 2023 season.

Heim has carried that momentum into the 2024 season.

Heim finished inside the top 10 in all of the first six races of the season heading into the 250, including three top-fives.

During qualifying on Friday afternoon before the race, Heim was uncharacteristically outside of the top 10 and started 14th when the green flag waved.

Heim was able to begin moving up the field fairly quickly once the race went green. After two quick cautions on Lap 2 and Lap 12, he found himself inside the top 10, running in the ninth position.

The race restarted on Lap 17 and went green to the end of Stage 1 on Lap 40. Once the trucks began singling out following the restart, passing became difficult and Heim finished the stage in ninth.

All of the lead lap trucks came down pit road under caution and Heim’s No. 11 team performed a great pit stop, gaining four spots.

This allowed Heim to restart in fifth place and took the green flag in the bottom lane of Row 3, behind race leader Kyle Busch and Nick Sanchez. The bottom lane got a great jump, with all three drivers pushing one another once reaching the restart zone.

Heim, while pushing Sanchez, ran the No. 2 truck up the track, opening up the bottom lane and going three-wide for second place. Heim cleared both Sanchez and Christian Eckes, who was in the top lane, to claim second as Busch ran away with the lead.

However, Heim began to run down Busch, and on Lap 49, was on the outside going for the lead, even getting ahead momentarily but was unable to clear. This left Heim vulnerable from behind, and both Sanchez and Eckes were able to get by.

Corey Heim

Corey Heim during the 250 at Texas Motor Speedway. (Photo: Dylan Nadwodny | The Podium Finish)

Stage 2 stayed green for its entirety and Heim held onto his position, finishing the stage in fourth place.

While on pit road under caution, Heim lost one position and restarted in the fifth position, and like the restart prior, in the third row on the bottom.

Busch once again held onto the lead on the restart and behind him, Eckes battled Taylor Gray for second. Eckes got loose and drifted up the track, causing Gray to lift momentarily. This opened the door for Heim to sneak through on the bottom, getting by Gray in the exit of Turn 2 and Eckes for a moment before getting passed by the No. 19 truck again.

After losing the third position to Sanchez, Heim made his green flag pit stop on Lap 122. During the cycle, a caution came out for Layne Riggs, who spun out in Turn 2 and hit the inside wall hard.

The caution coming out at the time it did allowed for Heim to cycle back up to second place and on the Lap 142 restart, he lined up on the front row in the outside lane next to Busch.

The restart did not go as planned for Heim, though. Busch got another nice restart and held onto the lead, which left Heim for the taking and put him three-wide between Gray and Eckes. Heim lost both positions and immediately after, began battling Sanchez for fourth.

Heim was able to hold onto fourth place and on Lap 146, a caution came out when TRICON Garage teammate Kris Wright got loose on the bottom, causing him to spin up the track and hit the wall, collecting Stewart Friesen in the process.

Corey Heim

Corey Heim racing at Texas Motor Speedway. (Photo: Dylan Nadwodny | The Podium Finish)

On the next restart, Heim restarted in fourth behind Busch in the bottom lane. Heim was able to get to the inside of Busch and, going into Turn 1, was three-wide for the lead with Busch and Eckes. Heim had the nose of the truck in the lead, but lost momentum on the bottom and was cleared by both Busch and Eckes.

“Just going for it,” Heim said. “I knew track position was going to be it with it being single groove, sometimes double groove on the restart.”

“Being in front of Kyle (Busch) was going to be the main thing. I did everything I could,” Heim shared.

Heim also lost third place to Gray but was saved when the caution came out before the leaders reached the start/finish line. Another one of Heim’s teammates, Dean Thompson spun out in Turn 3 and collected veterans Matt Crafton and Grant Enfinger.

The caution set up a restart with just 10 laps to go.

Eckes took the lead on the restart and Heim was able to move into second. Busch charged back quickly though, getting back around Heim on the back straightaway.

While Busch made the pass for the lead on Eckes with just eight laps remaining, the distraction allowed Heim to join the fight. Heim got around Eckes in the bottom lane and set his sights on Busch to go for the win.

Heim ran down Busch and found himself within striking distance on the final lap. Going into Turn 3, Heim went for it, racing deep into the turn but was unable to get it done, coming home in a close second behind his old team owner Busch.

“We were solid tonight,” Heim said post-race. “I think we were probably a fifth-place truck.”

The second-place finish builds Heim’s top-10 streak to start the year to seven races and collects his fourth top-five finish in the process.

“I admittedly struggle here a lot, so to finish second is pretty good,” Heim said. “Obviously, you want to win, but not a bad day for us.”

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