Cory Heim Wins First Career Truck at Atlanta

NASCAR photo by Sean Gardner - Getty Images

HAMPTON, GA – RIS – Cory Heim won his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at newly configured Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday.  It was a home track win, since the 19-year-old live 40 miles from the track.  The winning move was a push from his KBR teammate, John Hunter Nemechek to the finish line. The push denied another teammate, Chandler Smith a second straight truck win.

Smith — another 19-year-old from the Peach State — took the white flag with the lead on the outside, just ahead of Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate Heim hugging the line at the bottom the track.

Nemechek, also racing for KBM, looked as if he was going to follow Smith, only to dart suddenly to the inside to follow Heim. That was all the youngster needed to zip by Smith and take the checkered flag.

“I can’t believe it,” said Heim, who is from Marietta, an Atlanta suburb about 40 miles north of the speedway. “It’s so surreal to be at my home track. I’ve been coming here since I was 2 years old to watch Cup races.”

Ben Rhodes was second, 0173 seconds behind the winner. Smith settled for a fourth-place finish.

“I would like to have duked it out the 51 (Heim) and have nobody in the middle of it,” said Smith, a three-time truck winner. “That’s the first win for Corey. I’m excited for him. I remember what it was like when I got my first one.”

It hasn’t been a good start to the 2022Nemechek finished 24th, two laps down.

“There were no team orders,” Heim said. “As long as one KBM truck won, that’s all that mattered. All the credit to John Hunter Nemechek for giving me help there.”  That’s interesting in that radio transmission said for the KBM trucks to stay together to win.  A KBR truck did win, but one wonders if the team meeting on Monday will be all smiles.

Smith started from pole in the first race at the 1.54-mile Atlanta track since it was redesigned, with higher banking, narrower curves, and a new surface. Qualifying was canceled after storms hit the track Friday, forcing a much-needed practice session to be pushed back to Saturday morning. It was short.

Unofficial Results: 14th Annual Fr8 208, March 19, 2022, Atlanta Motor Speedway
Fin, St, Driver, Truck, Laps, St1, St2, Tms Led, Laps Led, Playoff Pts, Pts, Status
1) 19, Corey Heim #, No. 51 JBL Toyota, 135, , , 4, 22, 5, 40, Running
2) 15, Ben Rhodes, No. 99 Tenda Toyota, 135, , , 2, 9, , 35, Running
3) 4, Ty Majeski, No. 66 American Racing Wheels Toyota, 135, , 2, 1, 1, , 43, Running
4) 1, Chandler Smith, No. 18 Safelite Toyota, 135, 7, 3, 2, 21, , 45, Running
5) 25, Zane Smith, No. 38 Fr8Auctions.com Ford, 135, , , , , , 32, Running
6) 2, Stewart Friesen, No. 52 Halmar International Toyota, 135, 1, , 3, 49, 1, 41, Running
7) 11, Ryan Preece, No. 17 United Rentals Ford, 135, , 10, 1, 4, , 31, Running
8) 9, Tanner Gray, No. 15 Ford Performance Ford, 135, 6, 8, , , , 37, Running
9) 18, Derek Kraus, No. 19 NAPA AutoCare Chevrolet, 135, 3, , , , , 36, Running
10) 7, Austin Wayne Self, No. 22 AM Technical Solutions Chevrolet, 135, , , , , , 27, Running
11) 10, Tyler Ankrum, No. 16 LiUNA! Toyota, 135, 10, 5, , , , 33, Running
12) 8, Grant Enfinger, No. 23 Champion Power Equipment Chevrolet, 135, 2, , 1, 14, , 34, Running
13) 22, Jack Wood #, No. 24 Chevrolet Truck Month Chevrolet, 135, , , , , , 24, Running
14) 20, Chase Purdy, No. 61 David S Gray Found Love Toyota, 135, , , , , , 23, Running
15) 34, Jesse Little, No. 02 Sim Seats Chevrolet, 135, , , , , , 22, Running
16) 16, Christian Eckes, No. 98 Curb Records Toyota, 135, 4, 4, 1, 3, , 35, Running
17) 29, Chris Hacker, No. 33 Dal Dirt Toyota, 135, , , , , , 20, Running
18) 33, Jordan Anderson, No. 3 EasyCare/Bommarito.com Chevrolet, 135, , , , , , 19, Running
19) 31, Matt Jaskol, No. 46 AutoParts4Less.com Toyota, 135, , , , , , 18, Running
20) 30, Spencer Boyd, No. 12 Rimtyme Chevrolet, 134, , , , , , 17, Running
21) 21, Kris Wright, No. 44 F.N.B. Corporation Chevrolet, 134, , , , , , 16, Running
22) 23, Timmy Hill, No. 56 UNITS Storage Toyota, 134, , , , , , 15, Running
23) 36, Ross Chastain(i), No. 41 Eat Florida Watermelon Chevrolet, 133, 8, , , , , 0, Tire
24) 12, John Hunter Nemechek, No. 4 Pye-Barker Fire & Safety Toyota, 133, 9, 1, 2, 11, 1, 25, Running
25) 3, Matt Crafton, No. 88 Black Label Bacon/Menards Toyota, 133, 5, 6, 1, 1, , 23, Running
26) 26, Colby Howard, No. 91 Gates Hydraulics Chevrolet, 133, , , , , , 11, Running
27) 5, Carson Hocevar, No. 42 Premier Security Solutions Chevrolet, 132, , 9, , , , 12, Running
28) 35, Brennan Poole(i), No. 47 LiftKits4Less.com Toyota, 130, , , , , , 0, Running
29) 32, Blaine Perkins #, No. 9 Raceline Chevrolet, 126, , , , , , 8, Running
30) 6, Matt Dibenedetto, No. 25 Rackley Roofing/WAR Shocks Chevrolet, 123, , , , , , 7, Running
31) 17, Tate Fogleman, No. 30 Rangeline Group Toyota, 91, , , , , , 6, Accident
32) 28, Thad Moffitt, No. 43 Clean Harbors Chevrolet, 79, , , , , , 5, Engine
33) 24, Lawless Alan #, No. 45 AUTOParkIt.com Chevrolet, 75, , , , , , 4, Accident
34) 13, Dean Thompson #, No. 40 Worldwide Express Chevrolet, 68, , 7, , , , 7, Accident
35) 14, Matt Mills(i), No. 20 J.F. Electric Chevrolet, 52, , , , , , 0, Suspension
36) 27, Hailie Deegan, No. 1 Wastequip Ford, 24, , , , , , 1, Tire
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series, (#) Rookie

Time: 1 Hrs, 54 Mins, 15 Secs.
Race Length: 135 Laps, 207.9 Miles
Speed: 109.182 MPH
Margin of Victory: 0.173 Seconds

Stage 1 Top 10: 52, 23, 19, 98, 88, 15, 18, 41, 4, 16
Stage 2 Top 10: 4, 66, 18, 98, 16, 88, 40, 15, 42, 17

Comments: Corey Heim won the FR8 208 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory.

Prior to the start, the following trucks dropped to the rear of the field for the reason indicated: No. 3, 4, 43, 61, and 66 (unapproved adjustments).

Cautions: 7 for 40 laps;
Laps: 32-37 (Stage 1 Conclusion [44]);
51-55 (Debris on the Frontstretch from No. 20 [43]);
61-66 (Stage 2 Conclusion [12]);
69-75 (No. 40, 45 and 98 Incident in Turn 3 [41]);
81-84 (No. 30 Spin on the Frontstretch [98]);
92-97 (No. 3, 15 and 30 Incident in Turn 1 [24]);
101-106 (No. 44 Incident in Turn 3 [24]).

Lead Changes: 18 among 10 drivers;
S. Friesen 1-33;
M. Crafton 34;
C. Eckes 35-37;
S. Friesen 38-50;
J. Nemechek 51-56;
C. Smith 57;
T. Majeski 58;
J. Nemechek 59-63;
S. Friesen 64-66;
G. Enfinger 67-80;
R. Preece 81-84;
C. Heim # 85-97;
B. Rhodes 98-105;
C. Heim # 106;
B. Rhodes 107;
C. Heim # 108-114;
C. Smith 115-134;
C. Heim # 135.

Cometic Gasket Pole: Chandler Smith, No. 18
Mobil 1 Driver of the Race: Corey Heim, No. 51

Sunoco Rookie of the Race: Jack Wood, No. 24

Ron Fleshman with John Davison

RIS NASCAR Editor.  Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.

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Volume 2022, Issue 3, Posted 6:43 PM, 03.19.2022