Atlanta Motor Speedway’s brand-new pavement and configuration have created a myriad of substantial changes to the characteristics of the 1.54-mile facility, including a totally different style of racing.
However, quite possibly the biggest change is the first-time winner that the brand-new track has produced, in the form of Marietta, Georgia-native Corey Heim.
The 19-year-old – making his fifth career start in the NASCAR Truck Series — made a bold move for the victory on the final lap of Saturday’s 135-lap event, using a push from teammate John Hunter Nemechek to move around Chandler Smith, much to his disdain.
Smith, who was in a position to capture his second straight win, fell victim to the influence of John Hunter Nemechek, who despite being third in line was two laps off the pace, and ultimately played a role in the conclusion of the event.
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Heim’s last-lap move created a scramble between the race’s top-five finishers, resulting in a complete mixup to the running order in the final 1.5-miles of the event. ThorSport Racing teammates Ben Rhodes and Ty Majeski were able to secure the second and third-place positions.
Chandler Smith and Zane Smith – the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ two winners this season — rounded out the top-five finishers.
After leading a race-high 49 laps, Stewart Friesen finished in sixth place. Ryan Preece, Tanner Gray, Derek Kraus, and Austin Wayne Self rounded out the top-10.
The event featured seven caution flags for a total of 40 laps, which is significantly less than many expected from the 208-mile event. The largest crash of the event happened when Niece Motorsports’ Dean Thompson broke loose on Lap 69, collecting at least five other trucks.
Exiting the third event of the 2022 NASCAR Truck Series season, Chandler Smith continued to hold the points lead, extending the gap to 12 points over David Gilliland Racing’s Tanner Gray. Ty Majeski, Stewart Friesen, and Ben Rhodes rounded out the top-five in points.