Corey Heim makes it four with Truck Series win at Gateway

MADISON, ILLINOIS - JUNE 01: Corey Heim, driver of the #11 Safelite Toyota, takes the checkered flag to win the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Toyota 200 at WWT Raceway on June 01, 2024 in Madison, Illinois. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)

Corey Heim led 65 laps at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, the most of any driver in the race, en route to his fourth victory, the most of any driver this season.

It was a strong performance for Heim, forcing him to climb to the lead after only managing to qualify in ninth. After adjustments throughout the day to improve the speed on his TRICON Garage truck, Heim took the lead for the first time at the restart to start Stage 3 and never looked back from the lead.

“Total team effort today. We actually struggled a bit yesterday and worked overnight on it,” Heim explained.

After being disqualified from his second-place finish last week at Charlotte Motor Speedway for more than three loose lug nuts at the finish of the race, Heim said his pit crew, who failed to tighten the lugs, did everything they needed to at Gateway.

“Just have to say this pit crew has redeemed themselves: last week I felt like we could’ve won that race, and admittedly they made some mistakes, but they redeemed themselves today and that’s what it’s all about,” Heim said.

The win is extra sweet because of the $50,000 Triple Truck Challenge bonus money. By winning the second of three rounds of the Challenge, Heim also has the chance to pick up $150,000 by winning the final round at Nashville Superspeedway.

“Trust me, I was thinking about it coming to the line too!” Heim joked. “What a day, so thankful for everyone a part of this… we’ve got such a great race team and such a long season ahead.”

MADISON, ILLINOIS – JUNE 01: Ty Majeski, driver of the #98 Road Ranger/ Bucked Up Ford, and Christian Eckes, driver of the #19 Gates Hydraulics Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Toyota 200 at WWT Raceway on June 01, 2024 in Madison, Illinois. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)

For Christian Eckes, who’s won two races this year, his runner-up finish is a missed opportunity to gain valuable Playoff points and build up his lead in the regular season standings over Heim. Eckes was unable to run down Heim in the closing laps.

Eckes lost position on pit road after starting strong. He finished second in the first and second stages to Ty Majeski.

“Yeah, we pissed that one away,” Eckes said. “That sucks. I thought we had the best truck here, and just kept having to piss the tires up trying to get up there, and I burnt the right front off at the end trying too much. Just lacked track position.

“Feel like I let that one slip. Really happy with my guys for bringing me this fast of a truck, but obviously super disappointed in that… Just disappointing, for sure. Three second places in a row here, and thought this was the best of them.”

Nick Sanchez, Ty Majeski, and Layne Riggs rounded out the top five. Chase Purdy, Ben Rhodes, Stewart Friesen, Andres Perez de Lara, and Luke Fenhaus all earned top tens.

The Craftsman Truck Series returns on June 28th at Nashville Superspeedway for the final race of the Triple Truck Challenge.


Photos: NASCAR at World Wide Technology Raceway Saturday June 1, 2024

Owen Johnson