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Corey Heim Dominates to Win Heart of America 200 at Kansas Speedway

Photo Credit: Matthew T, Thacker, LAT Images | Courtesy of Toyota Racing

After a three week break, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series returned to action Saturday night at Kansas Speedway. The break did not slow down Corey Heim and TRICON Garage at all, as Heim emerged victorious after 134 laps in the Heart of America 200, the eighth event on the Truck Series calendar.

For Heim, it was a dominant performance from start to finish, as he won the first stage and led a race-high 79 laps. Through the first eight races of the season, the Marietta, Georgia native has yet to finish outside the top ten and his effort earned him the points lead, surpassing Christian Eckes.

“Can’t say enough about these guys at TRICON Garage,” Heim said in his post-race interview. “Top to bottom, we executed so well today; the pit crew, everyone back at the shop at TRICON Garage, just, what a truck”.

NASCAR Cup Series regular Zane Smith finished one spot behind Heim in second. Smith, running a partial schedule for McAnally Hilgemann Racing in the team’s No. 91 entry, earned his third top five in four starts on the season and was the stage two winner. Smith also led 29 laps, second-most to Heim. Smith’s teammate Christian Eckes finished in third, with Kaden Honeycutt finishing in fourth. For Honeycutt, the finish was his first career top five finish and only the second of the season for Niece Motorsports.

Brett Moffitt, making his first NASCAR National Series start of the season, rounded out the top five in the TRICON Garage No. 1 entry. The finish tied the best of the season for the entry with Christopher Bell’s run at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March.

Daytona winner Nick Sanchez, TRICON teammates Tanner Gray and Dean Thompson, Daniel Dye, and Matt Crafton comprised the rest of the top ten finishers. Crafton was the only Ford entry to finish inside the top fifteen, with the next highest Ford finisher being teammate Ben Rhodes in 16th.

Related: Heart of America 200 race results

On lap three, Ty Majeski, who came into the race third in the points standings, had a left front tire go down, which sent his No. 98 Ford F-150 into the outside wall. The contact left Majeski, who qualified in second, with major damage to his truck and he would lose three laps while repairs were made. On the following green flag run, Majeski would suffer another tire blowout and hit the wall again, which took him out of the race and rendered his night over before it even started.

Video: Ty Majeski Cuts Tire on Lap 2, Goes Into Outside Wall at Kansas

Despite the very early caution, it would be the only one of the entire race outside of stage cautions.

The rest of stage one was run without incident, and Corey Heim took the stage win in his No. 11 Toyota Tundra. The stage win was Heim’s second of the season.

Stage two stayed green from start to finish, with McAnally Hilgemann Racing driver Zane Smith scoring his first stage win of the season over Heim and MHR teammate Christian Eckes.

Heim regained the lead not long after the stage three restart, but he quickly found himself with a mirror full of Kaden Honeycutt. Honeycutt, making his fourth start of the Craftsman Truck Series season, qualified 23rd but finished inside the top five in both stages in his No. 45 Chevrolet. Honeycutt would lose multiple positions during the ensuing round of green flag pit stops, as he was leapfrogged by Smith and Eckes.

With 23 laps remaining,  Taylor Gray’s No. 17 Toyota suffered a flat right front tire and had to come to pit road. The race would stay green, causing Gray to lose three laps and finish 27th.

The remainder of the race would be run under green, with Heim never relinquishing his lead on his way to his second win of the season. His win was also the second on the season for Toyota and his team TRICON Garage. The win extended Ford’s winless streak to start the season to eight, the longest for the manufacturer in the series since 2021, when Ford also went eight races into the season without winning.

After the race on pit road, Layne Riggs and Cam Waters had a heated discussion after contact on the race’s final lap.

Waters, making his first career intermediate start, got loose under Riggs, sending both trucks up the track and the No. 38 into the outside wall. The two continued to make contact through the remainder of the lap, with Riggs muscling his way past Waters for the position.

With the results of Saturday night’s race, Corey Heim took the points lead away from Christian Eckes. With his last place finish, Ty Majeski also slipped one spot to fourth, with Nick Sanchez leapfrogging him to third place.

The next Craftsman Truck Series race is scheduled for Friday, May 10 at Darlington Raceway, and will be broadcast on FS1.

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