Motorsport News

Corey Heim, Taylor Gray Proving Worthy of Promotion

Nascar Craftsman Truck Series drivers Corey Heim and Taylor Gray, NKP

Last week, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series had an off-week, and as usual, some Truck Series regulars took the opportunity to compete in other series. This ranged anywhere from local short tracks to the NASCAR Xfinity Series, which competed at Richmond Raceway.

Two drivers in particular put together noteworthy performances that ought to have Xfinity team owners considering them for any open vacancies in 2025.

For Corey Heim, it should be no surprise. Returning to Sam Hunt Racing on a part-time basis this season, Heim scored a top 10 in his four-race slate with SHR in 2023, on top of his insane performance in the Truck Series. Heim was the regular season champion despite missing a race at World Wide Technology Raceway due to an undisclosed illness.

Heim was the odds on favorite to win the Truck Series championship at Phoenix Raceway before he was spun by Carson Hocevar, igniting a farce of an ending to the championship race.

To the surprise of many, Heim returned to his TRICON Garage No. 11 in 2024 for another season. Heim was seen as the favorite to take over Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 20 in Xfinity, as its driver John Hunter Nemechek was promoted to Cup competition, but Heim stayed in the Truck Series, a move that arguably caused Toyota to lose Jesse Love to Richard Childress Racing and Chevrolet.

This season, Heim has started his revenge tour relatively hot, winning the most recent Truck Series race at Circuit of the Americas. The Xfinity race at Richmond marked Heim’s third start of the season. He currently has an average starting position of 8.3 this season in the Xfinity Series, including his sixth place starting spot at Richmond.

Heim brought his No. 26 home fourth at Richmond, the final part of a 1-2-3-4 finish for Toyota, his second Xfinity top 10 in seven total starts so far. It’s his best career Xfinity finish thus far with plenty of season left.

Finishing one spot ahead of him was TRICON teammate Taylor Gray, making his Xfinity Series debut driving the No. 19 for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Gray hasn’t had as much hype around him throughout his career as Heim has, but he arguably is close, if not level with Heim talent-wise. Gray has found variable levels of success in the ARCA Menards Series, winning several ARCA Menards Series East, ARCA Menards Series West, and Main races.

TRICON gave Gray a part-time opportunity in the Truck Series in 2021…

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