Race Weekend Central

Kaden Honeycutt Turns Heads in Career Day at Kansas

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Kaden Honeycutt put himself in contention to win the Heart of America 200 at Kansas Speedway before settling for a career-best fourth place.

“That was just awesome,” Honeycutt said. “I’m finally so glad I was able to run up front with these guys and experience what it was like to run up front, experience what I was supposed to do in situations I was put in.”

The 20-year-old part-time Craftsman Truck Series driver for Niece Motorsports kept pace with leader and eventual winner Corey Heim in the final stage on Saturday night (May 4). Honeycutt cut the lead to within three-tenths of a second and even attempted to get around Heim before leveling off at around a second behind the leader in the first half of the last stage.

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Corey Heim Wins 2nd Truck Series Race of 2024 at Kansas

“Just needed to navigate the air better and attack the corner a little differently when I was racing Corey [Heim] there to try to take the lead from him,” Honeycutt said.

Then, the last round of pit stops took place under green flag conditions, and when Honeycutt came back out, he was six seconds further behind Heim.

“Obviously, I wanted to be better there myself,” Honeycutt said. “Just needed to clean up on pit road. I lost too much time on pit road, so I’ll just go back and look at it and see where I can be better.”

Honeycutt was hard on himself about his final pit stop, but he also revealed it was only his second-ever green-flag pit stop. He said his first one was last year in the playoff race at Kansas.

Still, Honeycutt’s fourth-place finish stands as his career best and his first career Trucks top five. His previous best finish was sixth, coming earlier this year at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Saturday night also showed a significant improvement for Honeycutt at Kansas itself, as he finished 24th and 27th in his previous two starts at the track.

“This was probably the most-studied track I’ve had on my schedule,” Honeycutt said. “I’ve struggled here the past couple years, just really not knowing what to do. And now, with all of our partners at Chevrolet who have really helped us on sim for me to get better and to know what to do when I show up, it’s so helpful to have all the backing that we have from Chevrolet.

The Willow Park, Texas, native may only have 25 NASCAR national series starts to his credit, but he’s been on the racing scene for quite a few years as a regular in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series and the zMAX CARS Tour, winning in both the late model and pro late model divisions.

In the past two weeks, CARS Tour regulars have made quite a splash in NASCAR. Prior to Honeycutt’s strong effort at Kansas in Trucks, Carson Kvapil nearly won last week at Dover Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

See also
Short Track Weekly: Carson Kvapil Tops Frontstretch's 2024 CARS Tour Power Rankings

“We’re hard-nosed grassroots racers, and this is what we want to do,” Honeycutt said. “This is what we fight for every day of our lives. And every opportunity that I have and Carson [Kvapil] has, we try to maximize it the best we can.

“So yeah, that’s why I’m a little hard on myself for not winning. But you also have to remember you have to take steps at a time to get to the win and run up front like that. Being my first time running in the top five in that scenario, I feel like I did a good job.”

Honeycutt’s next Truck race will be the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Memorial Day Weekend. But before that, he’ll be racing in the CARS Tour at North Wilkesboro Speedway.

“You’ve got to crawl before you walk, right?” Honeycutt said. “This is the start of something of our part-time schedule, so hopefully, we can click off our first win in Charlotte in a couple of weeks.”

About the author

Michael Massie is a writer for Frontstretch. Massie, a Richmond, Va. native, has been a NASCAR superfan since childhood, when he frequented races at Richmond International Raceway. Massie is a lover of short track racing and travels around to the ones in his region. Outside of motorsports, the Virginia Tech grad can be seen cheering on his beloved Hokies.

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Darren Davis

Wait until you see the paint scheme for the #45 in Charlotte.

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