Corey Heim wins in the Heart of America

Corey Heim, driver of the #11 Safelite Toyota, takes the checkered flag to win the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Heart of America 200 at Kansas Speedway on May 04, 2024 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)

Heim wins NASCAR Truck Series race Saturday night at Kansas Speedway

KANSAS CITY, KS – Corey Heim is now a two-time winner in the 2024 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

Heim had the best truck throughout Saturday night’s Heart of America 200 at Kansas Speedway, leading a race-high 79 laps out of 134 laps over the speedway’s 1.5-mile oval including the final 33 where he was able to hold off persistent pressure from 2022 Truck Series champion Zane Smith to win by 1.088 seconds with Christian Eckes, who won the 2023 Fall race at the speedway, finishing third.

“I can’t say enough about these guys at TRICON Garage, man,” said Heim, who started the race in the 13th position. “Top to bottom, we executed so well today with the pit crew, everyone back at the shop. 

Corey Heim does a burnout for the fans after winning Saturday night’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway. Photo by David Barks.

“What a truck. It was free for most of the race, so I can’t say it was easy… I’m kind of out of breath now — it was a handful those last 30 laps.”

“I feel a little bit better than I did after practice and qualifying,” said Eckes who started 10th. “We’ve got a little bit of work to do but I’m excited for the next one.”

Kaden Honeycutt finished fourth, followed by Brett Moffitt, who was making his first start of the year, Nick Sanchez, Tanner Gray, Dean Thompson, Daniel Dye, and Matt Crafton.

“I lost too much time on pit road. I’ve just got to be better,” said Honeycutt. “It sucks to come that close (7.242 seconds back) and not finish the run but I like our chances coming up.”,” said Sanchez. “Not enough speed on the short run. Once I got the long run the truck was better but I was too far back to win.”

“It was great to get back out here,” said Moffitt. “I lost a lot of track position early and just couldn’t get it back. It was a long night but a good night.”

Brett Moffitt, in his first start of the season, finishes fifth in Saturday night’s Truck Series race in Kansas City, KS. Photo by David Barks.

Chase Purdy won the pole with Ty Majeski beside him on the front row.

Majeski’s day fell apart on the first turn of the first lap when his left front tire went down. He scraped the wall and had to pit for repairs.

He got back on the track but only managed to complete 10 laps before he retired from the race in last (33rd) place.

The Majeski incident brought out the day’s first and only real caution.

It was green flag racing the rest of the way with the only other cautions coming out at the end of Stages 1 and 2.

After the restart, Smith, who is driving in the Cup Series full-time this season, quickly took over the lead as Purdy began a slow fade back.

Ty Majeski pits after blowing a tire and scraping the wall on the first lap of Saturday night’s NASCAR Craftsman Series Truck race. The mishap brought out the race’s only caution for an on-track incident. Photo by David Barks.

Eckes then moved into third and the battle among those three was on.

Heim, Smith, and Eckes were 1-2-3 at the end of the first stage.

During the stage break, the front tire changer for Lawless Alan was injured when Alan ran into him while entering his pit box. The tire changer was taken to the Infield Care Center where he was treated and released and back in the pits before the next stage break.

Smith moved into the lead five laps into Stage 2 and raced to the stage win followed by Heim, Eckes, and Honeycutt.

A slow pit stop pushed Heim back to seventh, ultimately dooming his chance for the win.

“I was surprised by how much we caught him at the end but you can’t lose (seven) spots on pit road,” said Smith. “I thought we had the winning truck tonight but there you go. That one got away there.”

Zane Smith crosses the finish line in second place during Saturday night’s Heart of America 200 at Kansas Speedway. Photo by David Barks.

Heim was back up front early in Stage 3 and gave it up only briefly during a series of green-flag pit stops, reassuming control for the final 33 laps.

He built his biggest lead, 3.743 seconds, with 20 laps to go, but Smith kept coming, getting on his rear bumper several times, but he never could catch him.

“To finally get that first win on an intermediate track is very, very gratifying,” said Heim. “Kansas has always been one of my better tracks. I’m encouraged for when we get back here in the Fall (in the playoffs).”

Heim holds the series lead by seven points over Eckes.

Both Heim and Smith will race in Sunday’s AdventHealth 400 NASCAR Cup Series race – Smith back in his full-time Cup Series spot with Spire Motorsports, Heim filling in for the injured Erik Jones for the Legacy Motor Club team.

NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Race – Heart Of America 200

Kansas Speedway

Kansas City, Kansas

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Statistics provided by NASCAR

(Started 13)  Corey Heim, Toyota, 134 laps completed.

(9)  Zane Smith(i), Chevrolet, 134.

(10)  Christian Eckes, Chevrolet, 134.

(23)  Kaden Honeycutt, Chevrolet, 134.

(19)  Brett Moffitt, Toyota, 134.

(31)  Nick Sanchez, Chevrolet, 134.

(18)  Tanner Gray, Toyota, 134.

(22)  Dean Thompson, Toyota, 134.

(6)  Daniel Dye, Chevrolet, 134.

(14)  Matt Crafton, Ford, 134.

(21)  Bayley Currey, Chevrolet, 134.

(16)  Grant Enfinger, Chevrolet, 134.

(4)  Rajah Caruth, Chevrolet, 134.

(24)  Bret Holmes, Chevrolet, 134.

(3)  Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 133.

(11)  Ben Rhodes, Ford, 133.

(7)  Jake Garcia, Ford, 133.

(25)  Layne Riggs #, Ford, 133.

(20)  Cam Waters, Ford, 133.

(12)  Tyler Ankrum, Chevrolet, 133.

(33)  Mason Massey, Chevrolet, 133.

(32)  Timmy Hill, Toyota, 132.

(15)  Matt Mills, Chevrolet, 132.

(26)  Thad Moffitt #, Chevrolet, 132.

(8)  Stewart Friesen, Toyota, 132.

(28)  Lawless Alan, Ford, 132.

(17)  Taylor Gray, Toyota, 131.

(1)  Chase Purdy, Chevrolet, 131.

(29)  Mason Maggio, Ford, 131.

(5)  Connor Mosack, Chevrolet, 131.

(27)  Spencer Boyd, Chevrolet, 129.

(30)  Jennifer Jo Cobb, Chevrolet, 128.

(2)  Ty Majeski, Ford, DVP, 10.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  132.722 mph.

Time of Race:  1 Hrs, 30 Mins, 52 Secs.

Margin of Victory:  1.088 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  3 for 16 laps.

Lead Changes:  13 among 8 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   C. Purdy 1-7;Z. Smith(i) 8-11;C. Heim 12;Z. Smith(i) 13;C. Heim 14-33;C. Eckes 34-39;Z. Smith(i) 40-63;C. Eckes 64-68;N. Sanchez 69;C. Heim 70-94;K. Honeycutt 95;D. Dye 96-99;M. Massey 100-101;C. Heim 102-134.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Corey Heim 4 times for 79 laps; Zane Smith(i) 3 times for 29 laps; Christian Eckes 2 times for 11 laps; Chase Purdy 1 time for 7 laps; Daniel Dye 1 time for 4 laps; Mason Massey 1 time for 2 laps; Kaden Honeycutt 1 time for 1 lap; Nick Sanchez 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 11,91,19,77,45,99,7,18,25,43

Stage #2 Top Ten: 91,11,19,45,77,1,2,71,7,99

Corey Heim, top in red, crosses the finish line to win Saturday night’s Heart Of America NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway. The trucks inside of Heim are lapped traffic including Lawless Alan (33) and Taylor Gray, middle. Photo by David Barks.
Kaden Honeycutt finishes fourth in Saturday night’s NASCAR Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway. Photo by David Barks.
Christian Eckes crosses the finish line in third place in Saturday night’s truck race at Kansas Speedway. Photo by David Barks.
Chase Purdy (77) leads the field early in Saturday night’s truck race at Kansas Speedway. Photo by David Barks.
Chase Purdy (77) and Ty Majeski (98) lead the field at the start of the Heart Of America 200 Saturday night at Kansas Speedway. Photo by David Barks.
Drivers approach the starting line to begin the Heart of America 200 NASCAR Craftsman Series Truck race Saturday night at Kansas Speedway. Photo by David Barks.
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