It’s Heim Time In Kansas Truck Series Rout


Corey Heim celebrates with a burnout after winning Saturday at Kansas Speedway. (HHP/Tim Parks photo)

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Corey Heim said prior to Saturday night’s Heart of America 200 that he felt Kansas Speedway owed him a victory, and he collected on that debt in dominating fashion.

Heim led 79 of the 134 laps at the 1.5-mile oval en route to his second NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win of the season, getting to the lead early and staying there often the rest of the way.

The 21-year-old from Marietta, Ga., raced from 13th to first in 12 laps, then battled back and forth with NASCAR Cup Series interloper Zane Smith through the middle stages before taking control in the second half.

Heim and Smith split the two stage wins, but it was the former who flexed his muscle late, holding a six-second lead after a green-flag pit cycle concluded with 33 to go and controlling the gap down the stretch.

Ultimately, Heim took the checkered flag 1.088 seconds clear for his seventh career Truck Series victory, breaking through in the Sunflower State after finishing fourth and second at Kansas one year ago.

“I just can’t say enough about these guys at TRICON Garage, man. Top to bottom, we executed so well all night,” said Heim after a smoky burnout on the frontstretch. “Our pit crew, everyone back at the shop, it all came together here. What a truck.”

Heim led four times during the race, but admitted afterward that even as easy as he might have made things look out front, he still had some issues to work through behind the wheel.

“We definitely struggled with being free for most of the race,” Heim noted. “I can’t say it was easy, but even with the balance I had, this truck has so much, so much more potential to get better. I’m a little out of breath right now. That thing was a handful the last 30 laps, but I really, really wanted this [win] and drove my butt off for it.”

Only one natural caution slowed the pace all night, and that was at lap two after outside polesitter Ty Majeski cut a left-front tire and hit the outside wall in turn one. He finished last in the 33-truck field.

From there, once racing resumed on lap seven, only the planned stage breaks at laps 30 and 60 broke up the action. The race was run in one hour, 30 minutes, and 26 seconds at an average speed of 132.699 mph.

Runner-up Smith felt like he had a truck that could have contended with Heim, but noted that his team’s struggles on pit road all night long left him with too much ground to overcome late in the going.

Heim Smith

Corey Heim (11) leads Zane Smith Saturday at Kansas Speedway. (HHP/Jim Fluharty photo)

“I was honestly surprised with how much we caught [Heim] there at the very end,” admitted Smith. “You just can’t lose [seven] spots on pit road in this series because it’s so competitive trying to race your way up through traffic. We had a good start; I just felt like that one kind of got away from us tonight.”

Smith’s McAnally-Hilgemann Racing teammate Christian Eckes was third, followed by Niece Motorsports’ Kaden Honeycutt, who put together a career night with his fourth-place finish.

Honeycutt raced from 23rd to fifth in the first 30 laps, then later battled with Heim at the start of the final stage before fading back to fourth following his final pit stop. He also led a lap as well.

Past Truck Series champion Brett Moffitt completed the top five in his return to action for the first time since winning at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway last October. Moffitt drove the TRICON Garage No. 1.

Sixth through 10th were Nick Sanchez, Tanner Gray, Dean Thompson, Daniel Dye, and three-time series champion Matt Crafton. Gray and Thompson gave TRICON Garage four trucks in the top eight finishers.

The night was all about Heim, however, who extended a remarkable streak of consistency in the process.

Heim has finished inside the top 10 in all eight Truck Series races this season, as well as 23 of his last 24 Truck Series starts, dating back to Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in April of 2023.

“I felt like we were so due at this place, and I knew we’d be capable [of winning] tonight,” he said. “Now it’s about putting even more consistency together for the rest of the year and going after the championship.”

If the last year is any indication, he’ll be in the title fight at Arizona’s Phoenix Raceway in November, but in the moment Heim simply savored a win at one of his favorite tracks to race at in the Truck Series.

“I wanted this one bad,” he tipped with a big grin.

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season continues Friday night, May 10 with the Buckle Up South Carolina 200 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. Eckes was the winner last year at the Track Too Tough to Tame.

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About Jacob Seelman

Jacob Seelman is Motorsports Hotspot’s News Editor and Race Face Digital’s Director of Content, as well as a veteran of more than a decade in the racing industry as a professional, though he’s spent his entire life in the garage and pit area.