Corey Heim Scores Second Career Win in Overtime at Gateway

MADISON, ILLINOIS - JUNE 04: Corey Heim, driver of the #51 JBL Toyota, takes the checkered flag under caution to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Toyota 200 at WWT Raceway on June 04, 2022 in Madison, Illinois. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)

Corey Heim started on the pole at the World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, but lost it after just 18 laps. He didn’t get back in control of the race until a caution bunched the field and gave him the chance to get around Christian Eckes, who had been running away with the lead, and score his second Camping World Truck Series win.

Heim’s overtime restart was initially reviewed by NASCAR after he got a massive jump on Eckes who was spinning his tires, but was ruled good just before a crash on the final lap brought the trucks to the checkered flag under caution. Teammate Chandler Smith pushed Heim to the lead before fighting for the win himself, but was ultimately passed back by Eckes.

Heim, a part-time driver for Kyle Busch Motorsports called his win “unbelievable,” and was thankful for “a great push from my teammate Chandler Smith right there.”

MADISON, ILLINOIS – JUNE 04: Corey Heim, driver of the #51 JBL Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Toyota 200 at WWT Raceway on June 04, 2022 in Madison, Illinois. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

“It was a great day. I just tried to stay out front and stay out of trouble for the most part,” he added. “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. 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.”

Christian Eckes was less happy. Though he ultimately finished second, he’d spent much of the closing laps battling Derek Kraus for the lead which he lost in the final two laps.

“It’s really frustrating,” Eckes said. “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.” As for the restart, he “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.”

MADISON, ILLINOIS – JUNE 04: Christian Eckes, driver of the #98 Curb Records Toyota, leads the field during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Toyota 200 at WWT Raceway on June 04, 2022 in Madison, Illinois. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)

After pushing his teammate to the front and battling with him for the lead, Chandler Smith ultimately finished third. “Honestly, probably should have won the race,” he said, “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.”

Toyota swept the top five, with Stewart Friesen and Johnny Sauter finishing fourth and fifth respectively.

The race’s biggest shakeup came early, when John Hunter Nemechek, who came into the race as points leader, spun while trying to make a pass and incurred enough damage to drop out of the race. It brings him down to second in the points standings.

Photos: NASCAR at Gateway and Portland, Saturday June 4, 2022

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race – 9th Annual Toyota 200
World Wide Technology Raceway
Madison, Illinois
Saturday, June 4, 2022

1. (1) Corey Heim #, Toyota, 165.
2. (5) Christian Eckes, Toyota, 165.
3. (4) Chandler Smith, Toyota, 165.
4. (3) Stewart Friesen, Toyota, 165.
5. (18) Johnny Sauter, Toyota, 165.
6. (16) Matt DiBenedetto, Chevrolet, 165.
7. (36) Derek Kraus, Chevrolet, 165.
8. (15) Ben Rhodes, Toyota, 165.
9. (2) Zane Smith, Ford, 165.
10. (13) Chase Purdy, Toyota, 165.
11. (19) Rajah Caruth, Chevrolet, 165.
12. (11) Matt Crafton, Toyota, 165.
13. (20) Tyler Ankrum, Toyota, 165.
14. (25) Dean Thompson #, Chevrolet, 165.
15. (26) Hailie Deegan, Ford, 165.
16. (30) Jordan Anderson, Chevrolet, 165.
17. (29) Timmy Hill, Toyota, 165.
18. (24) Lawless Alan #, Chevrolet, 165.
19. (32) Jack Wood #, Chevrolet, 165.
20. (22) Jesse Little, Chevrolet, 165.
21. (35) Tate Fogleman, Toyota, 165.
22. (23) Blaine Perkins #, Chevrolet, 165.
23. (7) Colby Howard, Chevrolet, 165.
24. (12) Carson Hocevar, Chevrolet, Accident, 164.
25. (27) Tyler Hill, Toyota, Accident, 164.
26. (28) Austin Wayne Self, Chevrolet, Accident, 164.
27. (33) Mason Maggio, Chevrolet, 164.
28. (10) Grant Enfinger, Chevrolet, 163.
29. (21) Jake Garcia, Chevrolet, 161.
30. (14) Tanner Gray, Ford, Accident, 156.
31. (34) Spencer Boyd, Chevrolet, Electrical, 151.
32. (8) Ty Majeski, Toyota, 136.
33. (17) Kris Wright, Chevrolet, Accident, 93.
34. (31) Brennan Poole, Toyota, Rear Gear, 77.
35. (6) John Hunter Nemechek, Toyota, DVP, 57.
36. (9) Taylor Gray, Ford, Accident, 45.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 86.397 mph.
Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 23 Mins, 14 Secs. Margin of Victory: Under Caution Seconds.
Caution Flags: 11 for 54 laps.
Lead Changes: 11 among 9 drivers.
Lap Leaders: C. Heim # 1-17;C. Smith 18-39;G. Enfinger 40-43;C. Smith 44-61;B. Rhodes 62-72;C. Hocevar 73-80;Z. Smith 81-96;S. Friesen 97-109;B. Rhodes 110-141;D. Kraus 142-153;C. Eckes 154-162;C. Heim # 163-165.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): Ben Rhodes 2 times for 43 laps; Chandler Smith 2 times for 40 laps; Corey Heim # 2 times for 20 laps; Zane Smith 1 time for 16 laps; Stewart Friesen 1 time for 13 laps; Derek Kraus 1 time for 12 laps; Christian Eckes 1 time for 9 laps; Carson Hocevar 1 time for 8 laps; Grant Enfinger 1 time for 4 laps.
Stage #1 Top Ten: 18,51,4,38,52,66,23,98,88,91
Stage #2 Top Ten: 99,88,19,61,22,42,1,51,52,38

Owen Johnson