Ga. native Corey Heim wins Fr8 208 at Atlanta Motor Speedway
On a historic day at Atlanta Motor Speedway, a Peach State driver stepped into the spotlight.
Corey Heim passed Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate Chandler Smith just after the white flag and brought home his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory in the Fr8 208 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday.
The 19-year-old from Marietta, driving the No. 51 Toyota, received some drafting help from a third Kyle Busch Motorsports driver, John Hunter Nemechek, as he passed Smith, another Georgia native, heading into Turn 1, then held off Ben Rhodes at the start-finish line.
“That was awesome,” Heim said. “We put ourselves in the right place at the right time.
“As long as a KBM truck won, that’s all that matters.”
Saturday’s race was the first NASCAR event on Atlanta Motor Speedway’s revamped track, which features 28 degrees of banking in every turn of the 1.54-mile layout and the Speedway’s first new asphalt layer since 1997.
“I’m at a lack of words a little bit,” said Heim, who led 22 laps. “I’ve watched Cup Series races here since I was two years old. It’s very surreal. To be here and win at my home track, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Ty Majeski finished third, with Chandler Smith slipping to fourth and Zane Smith rounding out the top five.
Nemechek won Stage 2, but a mishap on the backstretch midway through Stage 3 cost him two laps. Getting back on the track, Nemechek powered to third in the front line behind Smith and Heim and followed Heim when he made his move on the final lap.
“I would have liked to duke it out just me and the 51,” said Chandler Smith, a Talking Rock native who led 21 laps. “Happy for Corey on his first win.”
Nemechek finished 24th while Stage 1 winner Stewart Friesen placed sixth and led a race-high 49 laps.
Heim completed the 208 miles in 1 hour, 54 minutes and 14 seconds, averaging 109.182 mph. Eleven drivers exchanged the lead 10 times, with seven caution periods taking up 40 laps.
Action at Atlanta continues later this afternoon with the Nalley Cars 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race (5 p.m. FS1). Noah Gragson will start on the pole, determined by NASCAR’s formula after qualifying was canceled following Friday’s inclement weather.
The weekend’s centerpiece is Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 NASCAR Cup Series race (3 p.m., Fox). Chase Briscoe will start on the pole position.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit AtlantaMotorSpeedway.com or call 877-9-AMS-TIX.