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May 4, 2024

Corey Heim dominates Truck Series race at Kansas

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Corey Heim took control of Saturday night’s Heart of America 200 in the final stage and charged to his second NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory of the season, despite fighting a loose handling condition in the closing stages.

Heim took the lead from Nick Sanchez on Lap 70 of 134 at Kansas Speedway and stayed out front the rest of the way, gaining time through a cycle of green-flag pit stops in the middle of the final stage.

Runner-up Zane Smith, the 2022 Truck Series champion running a part-time Truck Series schedule this season, closed on Heim over the final 10 laps but was still 1.088 seconds behind when Heim crossed the start/finish line.

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The victory was Heim’s first at Kansas and the seventh of his career. The driver of the No. 11 Tricon Garage Toyota claimed his first victory of the season on March 23 at the Circuit of The Americas road course in Austin, Texas.

“I can’t say enough about these guys at Tricon Garage, man,” said Heim, who has finished in the top 10 in all eight Truck Series races this season. “Top to bottom, we executed so well today with the pit crew, everyone back at the shop…

“What a truck! It was free for most of the race, so I can’t say it was easy. Even with the balance I had, the truck had so much potential to get better. I’m kind of out of breath now-it was a handful those last 30 laps.”

Despite his second-place finish, Smith was disappointed with the result. After winning the second stage, Smith lost seven positions, thanks to a slow stop under caution on pit road and couldn’t catch Heim to challenge for the win.

On Lap 104, following a cycle of green-flag pit stops, Smith trailed Heim by 3.743 seconds and cut all but roughly one second off that margin before the finish.

WATCH: Smith discusses Kansas performance

“You can’t lose (seven) spots on pit road,” said Smith, who was making his fourth start of the season in the No. 91 McAnally-Hilgemann Chevrolet. “That one got away there.”

Christian Eckes finished third, followed by Kaden Honeycutt, whose fourth-place run was a career-best.

Brett Moffitt, the 2018 Truck Series champion, came home fifth in his first start of the season. Sanchez was sixth after starting from the rear of the field, due to his No. 2 Chevrolet failing pre-race inspection three times.

Tanner Gray, Dean Thompson, Daniel Dye and Matt Crafton completed the top 10.

Heim holds the series lead by seven points over Eckes.

MORE: 2024 Truck Series standings | 2024 Truck Series schedule

Both Heim and Smith will race in Sunday’s AdventHealth 400 Cup Series race (3 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN Radio, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at Kansas, Heim as a substitute for injured Legacy Motor Club driver Erik Jones and Smith in his full-time ride with Spire Motorsports.

The Truck Series will next race at Darlington Raceway on May 10 in the Buckle Up South Carolina 200 (7:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN Radio, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

NOTE: Post-race inspection was completed without issue in the Craftsman Truck Series garage, confirming Corey Heim as the winner.