Race Weekend Central

Corey Heim Wins 1st Race with TRICON at Martinsville

Corey Heim won his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race of the 2023 season and his first race with his new team, TRICON Garage, at Martinsville Speedway on April 14.

It’s Heim’s third career Truck Series win. In a part-time slate in 2022 with Kyle Busch Motorsports, Heim won twice en route to claiming Rookie of the Year honors.

The race was shortened due to the rain after 123 laps of the 200 scheduled were completed. Kyle Busch finished second and Zane Smith was third.

While Heim felt like he would be able to hold off Busch and Smith had the race continued to its scheduled distance, he’ll take the grandfather clock anyway he can.

“It was a cut short race, but that clock’s still going to tick the same in my living room,” Heim told FOX Sports 1 post-race.

The rain was a huge factor in this race, and because of it, the race had more caution laps (64) than green flag laps (60) for the second time this season.

The race struggled to get going from the start, as the green flag was delayed around two hours due to lightning coming over the speedway. As the 30-minute lightning clock was ticking, rain fell, which sent the jet dryers out on the track, which is partially what caused such a long delay.

The first stint was run completely on wet tires, the first time a NASCAR race ran rain tires on an oval, but teams pitted on lap 37 to go back to regular slicks. Heim took stage one, and shortly afterward, another light rain shower came over the speedway, halting the race on lap 68 to dry the track for a short time.

On lap 81, the first caution for an incident came when Lawless Alan got tagged by Daniel Dye and sent him spinning in turn 3.

The next caution came out just 15 laps later, on lap 96, when Stewart Friesen and Chase Purdy made contact off of turn 2 and cut Friesen’s tire, causing Friesen to loop his No. 52 in turn 3. This caution ended the stage, giving Heim the stage sweep.

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With inclement weather quickly closing in, the intensity picked up. Contact between William Sawalich and Carson Hocevar led to Hocevar dooring the No. 1 into turn 1 on lap 108. Sawalich practically drifted the entirety of turns 1 and 2 to save his truck. Luckily for Sawalich, a caution on lap 111 for a spin by Dye allowed him to regroup.

Hocevar himself would spin out mere laps later on lap 116 after contact with Sawalich’s teammate Taylor Gray made contact with the No. 42, cutting Hocevar’s left rear tire. Hocevar turned left (just as he did with Sawalich) and attempted to spin Gray out but wrecked himself because of the left-rear tire. NASCAR penalized Hocevar for two laps on pit road due to the incident.

Just after the decision to hold Hocevar for two laps was made, heavier rain began to fall, red-flagging the race for a second time on lap 124. It ended up being the final time the trucks would be on track, as NASCAR declared Heim the winner just a few minutes after bringing the trucks to pit road.

Truck Results From Martinsville

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will next hit the track on May 6, at Kansas Speedway. Coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.

About the author

Anthony Damcott joined Frontstretch in March 2022. Currently, he is an editor and co-authors Fire on Fridays (Fridays); he is also the primary Truck Series reporter/writer. A proud West Virginia Wesleyan College alum from Akron, Ohio, Anthony is now a grad student. He is a theatre actor and fight-choreographer-in-training in his free time. 

You can keep up with Anthony by following @AnthonyDamcott on Twitter.

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