NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Overview:
Event: United Rentals 176, Race 15 of 22, 72 Laps – 20/25/27; 176.4 Miles
Location: Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International Raceway (2.45-mile, seven-turn road course)
Date/Broadcast: Aug. 7, 2021 at 12:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR 90
The Story on Corey:
Corey Heim will make the second start of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career behind the wheel of the No. 51 JBL Tundra in Saturday’s Camping World Truck Series event at Watkins Glen. Heim was originally slated for a two-race deal with KBM in 2021 but will now make three starts with the addition of Watkins Glen to his schedule. The Toyota Racing Development product will also drive the No. 51 Tundra Oct. 30 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
Heim made his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway May 7. Despite not getting any practice or qualifying time, The Georgia native was impressive behind the wheel of his Toyota. After starting 13th, he finished the opening stage eighth and by the end of the second stage had moved into the runner-up position behind his KBM teammate John Hunter Nemechek. With just under 30 laps remaining, he restarted on the front row next to Nemechek, but as the field exited the restart zone another competitor tapped the bumper of the JBL Tundra sending Heim into Nemechek and a 17-truck pileup ensued. With major damage all around his Toyota, the over-the-wall crew threw feverishly attempted repairs but ended up with a 23rd-place finish when the six-minute clock expired under NASCAR’s damaged vehicle policy.
The 19-year-old driver will be pulling double duty this weekend, as he will pilot the No. 20 Camry for Venturini Motorsports in Friday’s 41-lap ARCA Menards Series event. Entering Friday’s event, Heim has raced just once on a road course, he started on the pole, led three laps, and finished seventh at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio in June.
Heim currently ranks second in the ARCA Menards Series standings, seven points behind Ty Gibbs with 12 races completed. He opened the season with a victory at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in February and also has victories at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa., and Elko (Minnesota) Speedway. He leads the ARCA Menards Series this year with an average finish of 2.5 and 12 top-10 finishes, while he is tied with Gibbs with 11 top-five finishes.
In addition to his four ARCA Menards series wins this season, the Toyota Racing Development driver earned his first victory in the series finale last October at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. Across 28 career ARCA Menards Series starts, the talented teenager has recorded five wins, 397 laps led, 21 top-five and 27 top-10 finishes, resulting in an average finish of 4.3.
Heim has also found his way to victory lane in the Late Model Ranks the last few seasons. Most recently, the Georgia driver brought home a victory March 27 in the Super Late Model Georgia Spring Nationals at Crip Motorsports Park in Cordele, Ga. It was his second Super Late Model win at his home state track, where he also won CRA SpeedFest at the 3/8-mile track in 2020. On the CARS Tour, Heim has one Super Late Model win at South Boston (Va.) Speedway in 2018 and one Late Model Stock victory at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway in 2020.
Entering the final race of the regular season, the No. 51 sits fourth in the Camping World Trucks owner standings. Owner-driver Kyle Busch has collected victories at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga., and Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, while Martin Truex Jr. got his first-ever Truck Series victory at the Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway Dirt Track.
Mardy Lindley has guided the No. 51 team to three victories across seven races is in his first season as a crew chief at KBM. Before arriving at KBM, Lindley guided his drivers to 32 wins and four ARCA Menards Series East championships since 2013, including back-to-back titles with Sam Mayer the last two seasons. Additionally, he earned the ARCA Menards Series Sioux Chief Showdown championship with Mayer in 2020. Behind the wheel, the second-generation driver won 11 races on the Pro Cup Series from 2000 to 2006 and was crowned the series champion in 2001. Across two road course starts as a crew chief in the Truck Series, Parker Chase produced a best result of 12th at the Daytona Road Course earlier this season. In his line ARCA Series event atop the pit box, he finished third with Sam Mayer in the 2020 event at the Daytona Road Course.
Corey Heim | Watkins Glen Preview
You’ve raced on a road course in ARCA just one time. How do you feel about road course racing?
“I’m really excited because regardless of where we go with KBM I know Mardy and all the guys on the 51 team are going to bring a really good JBL Tundra for me. Like you mentioned, I made one start at Mid-Ohio in ARCA a couple months ago and it went well for the most part. We didn’t get the finish that we wanted but we had a lot of speed, and I learned a lot. Without that it might have been a little bit of a struggle, but I that experience will help me do well this weekend.”
How beneficial will it be getting to run the ARCA Menards Series race on Friday before getting in the truck on Saturday?
“I think it is going to benefit me a lot actually. Me coming into a road course race with no practice in the Truck Series is going to be tough, but I think the ARCA race is going to help me a bunch. Having an entire race under my belt, plus the combined practice and qualifying session as well. I think I’ll have all the experience and all the seat time I’ll need prior to the truck race and I’m excited to get going.”
How do you think racing at Watkins Glen will compare to what experienced Mid-Ohio?
“I don’t know. As far as the sim I’ve done so far, I think Mid-Ohio is a little bit more technical and Watkins Glen is a little more of a high-speed type of race track. Through the bus stop, the carousel and all the way down the backstretch as well, it’s all really high speed, but not quite as technical. It will all come down to me adapting to the race track and getting my braking points right. Of course, just being fast and trying to go win the race.”
Corey Heim Career Highlights:
Across 28 career ARCA Menards Series starts has five wins, 397 laps led, 21 top-five and 27 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 4.3.
Picked up his first career ARCA Menards Series victory at Kansas Speedway Oct. 16, 2020.
Brought home a victory March 27, 2020, in the Super Late Model Georgia Spring Nationals at Crip Motorsports Park in Cordele, Ga. It was his second Super Late Model win at his home state track, where he also won CRA SpeedFest at the 3/8-mile track in 2020.
On the CARS Tour, has collected one Super Late Model win at South Boston (Va.) Speedway in 2018 and one Late Model Stock victory at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway in 2020
Captured the 2017 Atlanta Motor Speedway Thursday Thunder Pro Series championship and the 2016 Atlanta Motor Speedway Young Lions Legends Car championship
Corey Heim’s No. 51 JBL Tundra:
KBM-X134: The No. 51 team will unload X134 for Saturday’s race at Watkins Glen. Parke Chase piloted this Tundra in two road course events for the 51 this year, with a best result of 18th at the Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway Road Course in February. Erik Jones won with the Tundra at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in 2015. Prior to being converted to a road course truck for the 2014 season, KBM-X134 was victorious at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in October of 2012 with Denny Hamlin.
KBM Notes of Interest:
KBM drivers have earned one win, 85 laps led, nine top-five and 11 top-10 finishes, with an average finish of 12.4 across 29 starts on road courses. Erik Jones collected KBM’s lone road-course victory in 2015 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
KBM holds the Camping World Truck Series records for most career wins (88) and most wins in a single season (14 in 2014). With his victory at the Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt Track, Truex Jr. became the 16th different driver to win a Truck Series event for KBM. In addition to collecting a series-record seven Owner’s Championships, the organization has produced two championship-winning drivers: Erik Jones (2015) and Christopher Bell (2017).
With 37 victories, the No. 51 is the winningest number in KBM’s Truck Series fleet.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!