The end result was the same, but the process to get there was completely different for Corey Heim and Venturini Motorsports, who have now claimed back-to-back superspeedway victories in the ARCA Menards Series. On a restart with one lap to go, the 18-year-old made a stunning pass to claim his third career victory in the ARCA Menards Series, holding off a final charge from Nick Sanchez and Dave Mader III.
The victory is the second of the 2021 ARCA Menards Series season for Heim and goes a long way in solidifying his stature as a title contender in the series this season, after Ty Gibbs was involved in a multi-car accident late in the event.
For both Venturini Motorsports and Toyota, the triumph marks the continuance of winning streaks in the series’ superspeedway races, with VMS claiming their fourth consecutive win, while Toyota’s streak dates back to 2017.
Dave Mader III – whose last top-five finish in the ARCA Menards Series came in 1991 — finished in the runner-up position, with Nick Sanchez, Drew Dollar and reigning series champion Bret Holmes rounding out the top-five finishers of the event.
The race featured four cautions, two of which were due to an on-track incident.
With 15 laps to go, Nick Sanchez (No. 2) got into the back of Greg Van Alst (No. 35), sending him spinning into Ty Gibbs’ No. 18 Toyota Camry. John Ferrier (No. 44) and Thomas Praytor (No. 9) were also involved in the accident.
However, the more scary of the two accidents came with under five laps to go in the race, as contact from Drew Dollar (No. 15) sent Derrick Lancaster (No. 29) hard into the outside wall, with his Toyota Camry bursting into flames. Lancaster got out of the car under his own power, but needed assistance from the AMR Medical Team to get on a stretcher and to the infield care center.
The 48-year-old was later transported to a local hospital for further evaluation. No additional updates are available at this time.
Exiting Talladega, Heim extends his points lead over Joe Gibbs Racing’s Ty Gibbs – who won the series’ second event of the season at Phoenix — in what is sure to be a tight battle all season long.
This article will be updated with full finishing results and point standings when they become available.