NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Overview:
Event: Playoff Race at Talladega, Race 21 of 23 (Race 2 in the Round of 8)
100 Laps – 20/20/54; 250.04 Miles
Location: Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (2.66-mile, tri-oval)
Date/Broadcast: Oct. 1, 2022, at 12:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR 90
The Story on Corey:
Corey Heim and the No. 51 JBL team head to Talladega for the second race in the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series owner’s playoffs. Saturday’s 100-lap event will mark Heim’s first Truck Series start at the 2.66-mile tri-oval. Heim was victorious in the ARCA Menards Series at the Alabama track in 2021 and finished third in this year’s event. He also has gone two-for-two in ARCA Menards Series races at the other superspeedway, Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, winning there in 2021 and again this season.
The Georgia driver has put together a stretch of five consecutive top-10 finishes in Camping World Truck Series action, including his 10th-place result at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in the series’ most recent event. With two races remaining in the Round of 8, the No. 51 finds themselves sixth on the owner’s playoff grid, 18 points below the cutoff line for advancing to the Championship 4. Heim propelled the team through the Round of 10 with three top-10 finishes, putting them 33 points above the cutoff line for advancing.
The No. 51 team qualified for the owner’s portion of the playoffs via Heim’s two wins this season (Atlanta Motor Speedway and World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway). They are tied with the No. 18 and No. 38 teams with a series-leading three wins this season. In addition to Heim’s two wins, Kyle Busch was victorious at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway in June. The No. 51 team has captured the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series owner’s championship three times (2013-2014 & 2019) and as on organization KBM has collected a series-record seven owner’s titles.
Across 13 Truck Series starts this season, Heim has produced two wins, two poles, 64 laps led, five top-five and eight top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 14.4. The 19-year-old driver leads the Truck Series rookie of the year standings by 140 points over Lawless Alan. Heim will look to join three other KBM drivers that have won the award, reigning winner Chandler Smith, William Byron (2016) and Erik Jones (2015). Overall, Heim sits 15th in the driver point standings, despite only starting 13 of the 20 events, and is ahead of seven full-time competitors.
The Georgia driver picked up his first career Truck Series victory in just his fifth start earlier this season at Atlanta and won again at Gateway in is ninth start. With two victories across his first 10 Truck Series starts; Heim became one of just 12 drivers in series history to net multiple victories in their first 10 starts. Kasey Kahne and Mike Skinner each produced five victories, Mark Martin collected four wins, Ron Hornaday Jr., Ted Musgrave and William Byron brought home three checkered flags and Heim, Kyle Busch, Erik Jones, Rich Bickle, Clint Bowyer and Tony Stewart all delivered two wins.
Heim picked up his ninth career ARCA Menards Series victory Sept. 10 at Kansas Speedway. Across 43 career ARCA Menards Series starts he has produced 814 laps led, 31 top-five and 41 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 4.3. Heim finished second to Ty Gibbs in the 2021 ARCA Menards Series championship standings.
Mardy Lindley returned to KBM for his second season atop the pit box of the No. 51 team. Lindley has led his team to six wins since coming to KBM at the start of the 2021 season, including two with Heim and one with Kyle Busch this year. In 2021, his drivers produced three victories, two with Busch and one with Martin Truex Jr. 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. Lindley’s lone race calling the shots at Talladega resulted in a 35th-place finish with Drew Dollar in last year’s race.
JBL, the authority in engineering superior sound, will be onboard with Heim at Talladega in their final primary race of the season. Crescent Tools, a premier hand tool brand from Apex Tool Group, will be the primary sponsor on Heim’s No. 51 Tundra TRD Pro for the final two races of the season.
Corey Heim, Driver Q&A:
You’ve won three times in four starts on superspeedways in the ARCA Menards Series. What has been the key to your success?
“I think just staying patient is the main thing. Lots of people try to jump the gun early in the race. When realistically you can make up 5 to 10 positions in the matter of a few laps if you’re in a good spot. So, placement and timing are everything.”
How much different is racing on superspeedways in the Truck Series than it is in the ARCA Menards Series?
“It’s definitely a lot more intense. The field is much deeper, so mistakes come back to bite you a lot worse.”
How does your preparation for a superspeedway race compare to your preparation for other races?
“Speedway races are the most mentally challenging in my opinion. So doing research and making sure that I’m mentally prepared is going to go a long way.”
Corey Heim Career Highlights:
Picked up first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway March 19, 2022 in just his fifth start. Across 16 career starts has two wins, two poles, 66 laps led, five top-five and eight top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 14.8.
With two victories across his first 10 Truck Series starts, the 19-year-old driver became one of just 12 drivers in series history to net multiple victories in their first 10 starts. Kasey Kahne and Mike Skinner each produced five victories, Mark Martin collected four wins, Ron Hornaday Jr., Ted Musgrave and William Byron brought home three checkered flags and Heim, Kyle Busch, Erik Jones, Rich Bickle, Clint Bowyer and Tony Stewart all delivered two wins.
Finished runner-up in the ARCA Menards Series championship standings in 2021 after collecting six wins, three poles, 406 laps led, 16 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 3.1 across 20 starts.
Across 43 career ARCA Menards Series starts has nine wins, 814 laps led, 31 top-five and 41 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.
Corey Heim’s No. 51 JBL Tundra TRD Pro:
KBM-26: The No. 51 JBL team will unload KBM-26 for Saturday’s 250-mile race at Talladega. This Tundra TRD Pro has one victory under its belt, which came with Raphael Lessard at Talladega in 2020. It also has one pole at Talladega, with David Gilliland in 2018. Heim drove this Tundra TRD Pro earlier this year at Daytona, where he finished fourth in the opening stage before getting in an incident on pit road and would ultimately exit the race early with a 32nd-place finish.
KBM Notes of Interest:
KBM drivers have collected two wins, two poles, 79 laps led, 10 top-five and 18 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 11.1 across 31 starts at Talladega. Raphael Lessard collected the first victory of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career at the 2.66-mile tri-oval in 2021 and owner-driver Kyle Busch was victorious in the 2010 event when he finished 0.002 seconds ahead of Aric Almirola in the closest finish in Truck Series history since electronic scoring was instituted.
KBM holds the Camping World Truck Series records for most career wins (98) and most wins in a single season (14 in 2014). With his victory at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway earlier this year, Heim became the 18th 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 40 victories, the No. 51 is the winningest number in KBM’s Truck Series fleet.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!