Motorsport News

Corey Heim, TRICON Make Statement at COTA

Nascar Craftsman Truck Series

In a Nutshell

Corey Heim had almost complete control from start to finish at Circuit of the Americas, winning his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race of the season on Saturday (March 23).

Heim led 31 laps, almost two-thirds of the total race distance. Heim had to fend off teammate Taylor Gray to take the win in a late overtime shootout. It’s the first 1-2 finish in TRICON Garage’s history. It comes amid a banner day for TRICON that saw all five of its trucks finish in the top 10.

While it was mostly smooth sailing for Heim and his TRICON teammates, several drivers had up-and-down days that produced mixed results at the checkered flag. With stage cautions returning, mixed strategies saw teams revert to flipping the stages, a common occurrence on road courses since stages were introduced in 2017.

The Top Truckers at Circuit of the Americas

Winner, Stage 2 Winner, Most Laps Led (31 of 46 laps): Corey Heim
Polesitter, Rookie of the Race: Connor Zilisch
Stage 1 Winner: Nick Sanchez

Top Storylines of the Race

  • Ben Rhodes and Thad Moffitt were unable to make qualifying runs due to mechanical issues. Rhodes’ No. 99 suffered a shock issue in practice, while Moffitt’s No. 46 had a power steering issue. They started 34th and 35th as a result. Rhodes rebounded to finish seventh, but Moffitt ended outside the top 30, seven laps off the pace.
  • Ty Dillon finally had a positive result to his season by finishing 11th. Even better he scored a stage point in stage one after he finished 10th. Aside from a 14th-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Dillon previously hadn’t finished any other races inside the top 15.
  • Surprisingly, only one full-time NASCAR Cup Series driver competed in the race. Ross Chastain made his first start of the season behind the wheel of Niece Motorsports’ No. 45. He made an impression though, as he finished a hard-earned fifth.
  • Among drivers who have continued seasons from hell: Moffitt, Matt Mills, Layne Riggs and Chase Purdy. All four drivers finished outside the top 20, with Purdy nabbing the best finish of the four, though it was only 22nd. Purdy also grabbed some stage points in stage one to help soften the blow.
  • Tyler Ankrum had an uncharacteristically poor finish for the way his season has gone. Despite scoring stage points in both stages, Ankrum finished 25th. The points leader coming into the race, Ankrum had been honored by the city of Austin, Texas, with March 23 being declared

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