Frontstretch’s Truck Series content is presented by American Trucks
Corey Heim captured his third win of the 2023 season and locked himself into the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series after passing the most dominant truck in Christian Eckes in the closing laps at Bristol Motor Speedway.
It’s Heim’s fifth win of his Truck career after the driver of the No. 11 Safelite Toyota Tundra led only six laps tonight (Sept. 14) after starting 11th.
Eckes led 151 laps, the most in any Truck race in his career. He settled for second.
Behind the dominant duo, Grant Enfinger stayed ahead of fellow playoff contender Carson Hocevar to finish third, while Taylor Gray finished in the top five once again after finishing second last week at Kansas Speedway.
Eckes started on pole for the 200-lap race alongside Hocevar, who came into the race on the playoff cut line tied in points with Zane Smith.
Smith stayed out along with Sanchez, Carson Kvapil and Bayley Currey. Smith was able to maintain the lead through the first half of stage two, including a restart after Greg Van Alst spun, bringing out the third caution
However, with six to go in stage two, Eckes took the lead once the leaders caught lapped traffic, and Ty Majeski made contact with Heim, cutting a right-front tire. Majeski went a lap down but received the free pass at the end of the stage; however, he finished 19th.
Smith and Sanchez, who finished second and third in stage two, made pit stops to make it to the end of the race at the stage two caution, but Smith pitted with his tire on the line of the pit box, giving him a penalty. Smith finished the worst of the playoff drivers in 24th.
Eckes kept the lead to start stage three, but once he caught up to lapped traffic, Heim reached his back bumper with around 30 to go.
With 10 to go, Heim caught lapped truck Daniel Dye in a bad spot and lost time to Eckes. And then with six to go, Eckes was slowed again by the lapped trucks of Majeski and Heim’s teammate Tanner Gray and got passed by Heim.
Heim held on in the final five laps and secured the victory and his guaranteed spot at Phoenix Raceway to battle for the title.
The Truck Series will be back in action at the largest track in the series at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, Sept. 30 at 1 p.m. ET. Broadcasting for round two of the Round of 8 will be provided by FOX Sports 1.
About the author
Wyatt Watson has been an avid fan of NASCAR since 2007 at the age of 8. He joined Frontstretch in February 2023 after serving in the United States Navy for five years as an Electronic Technician Navigation working on submarines. Wyatt writes breaking NASCAR news and contributes to columns such as Friday Faceoff and 2-Headed Monster. Wyatt also contributes to Frontstretch's social media and serves as an at-track reporter.
Wyatt Watson can be found on Twitter @WyattGametime
A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.