Toyota Racing NCWTS Gateway Post-Race Report - 06.04.22
MADISON, Ill. (June 4, 2022) – Corey Heim won his second career Truck Series race in just his ninth career start in the Toyota 200 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway on Saturday afternoon. Heim won the race from the pole, his first. Heim led four other Toyota Tundras across the finish line, as Toyota swept the top-five positions for the sixth time in their NASCAR Truck Series history.
COREY HEIM, No. 51 JBL Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Finishing Position: 1st
How would you sum up today’s race?
“For the rest of this year, I’ve found myself in bad spots and really just not been able to finish races so today really helped my mindset of just finishing, being there in the end and just keeping my truck clean. I felt like out of the whole entire top-10, everyone had damage except for me. It was great for a situation in the end, where we could win the race. Everyone at KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports) and JBL, this Tundra TRD Pro was just phenomenal today. Like I said, just staying up front, staying out of trouble.”
What are your emotions like?
“It’s phenomenal. I’ve been here once before and there was nowhere near the good turn out as there was today. It was phenomenal to see all of these fans today at the Toyota 200. It was a great show.”
Can you talk about your run?
“It was a great day. I just tried to stay out front and stay out of trouble for the most part. I’ve had my ups and downs this year where I’ve kind of been a little too aggressive and it came back to bite me. I was just trying to stay up front and keep my truck clean in the end and it all paid off. My Tundra TRD Pro was phenomenal. KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports) did a great job and I’m proud to be a part of this Toyota 200.”
CHRISTIAN ECKES, No. 98 Curb Records Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, ThorSport Racing
Finishing Position: 2nd
Can you take me through that final restart?
“I just spun the tires a little bit and then the 19 (Derek Kraus) picked my rear wheels off of the ground and sent them to Mars. Just didn’t get a good launch. Two of the last three races, we have been leading and the caution comes out late. It just sucks, but very proud of my ThorSport Racing team. Thankful to Curb Records, AHI Facility Services, Toyota Racing, WileyX. It’s just really frustrating. The past three weeks, we should have won, and we didn’t. I’m going to go back to the drawing board and figure some stuff out.”
CHANDLER SMITH, No. 18 Safelite AutoGlass Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Finishing Position: 3rd
How did you make it through the field?
“To be honest with you if the 23 (Grant Enfinger) didn’t run out of talent in stage two, we would have probably lapped half the field easy. Our truck was stupid, stupid fast. Hats off to Danny (Stockman), everybody at KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports). They gave me a really fast Safelite/ChargeMe Toyota Tundra. It sucks really bad, because even there at the end our tires are beat, probably four times everybody else in the field and we still ended up third. Honestly, probably should have won the race, but got drove all the way to the fence once again. It is what it is, but glad to get a top-three out of it.”
JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK, No. 4 Mobil 1 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Finishing Position: 35th
Did the hole just close up on you?
“Yeah, that one is on me. I put myself in a vulnerable position and should have known better. I should have leaned on experience for that. It’s so hard to pass here today. Our Toyota Tundra was fast. All of the KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports) trucks were fast, and now, none of them are up there. I got a run going down the back straightaway. The 51 (Corey Heim) was on the 52’s (Stewart Friesen) door. The 52 got sideways and they both slid up the racetrack. I thought I had a hole and went for it. It’s aero loose underneath. I hit the rumble strips as well. It just closed. It’s on me. I’m sorry to all of my guys at KBM. Thank you to Mobil 1, all of our great partners that help us do this. Looking forward to going to rebound next week in Sonoma.”
RIS NASCAR Editor. Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.