March 23, 2024 | By Holly Cain, NASCAR Wire Service

Corey Heim charges to Victory Lane at the Circuit of The Americas

Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

AUSTIN, Texas — An afternoon of impressive restarts ultimately handed Corey Heim the winning finish in the XPEL 225 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race at the famed Circuit of The Americas (COTA) road course in Austin, Texas Saturday afternoon.

Heim dominated the race – his No. 11 TRICON Garage Toyota leading a race best 31 of the 46 laps and prevailing in an overtime finish to convincingly win his first race of 2024 and sixth of his career – by 1.625-seconds over his teammate Taylor Gray.

ThorSport Racing’s Ty Majeski, Spire Motorsports’ Connor Zilisch and NASCAR Cup Series regular Ross Chastain in a Niece Motorsports Chevy rounded out the top five.

“Just prepared so hard for this race,’’ Heim said, adding, “I came into this race last year and struggled really. Finished sixth with a penalty and just all over the place. To put together a solid race like this is just so special and really just shows you how good our trucks are back at the shop”.

Heim has finished sixth or better in all five races this season.

“Just great consistency and that was the name of the game last year to make it as far as we did,’’ he said smiling. “Didn’t have the result at the end [of 2023] but I think this year we can make it back and prove we’re champions. Super excited for the rest of the year, we’re really just getting started and I think our best tracks are in front of us, so really can’t wait.

Certainly Heim’s performance Saturday on the 20-turn, 3.41-mile road course was the afternoon standard, but there was plenty of good racing behind him. There were 14 lead changes among eight drivers, but no one other than Heim led double-digit laps.

Jack Hawksworth, a sportscar and IndyCar driver making his first NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series start certainly proved himself a talent to be reckoned with. He ran top five most of the day and led a lap. He finished sixth.

Reigning series champ Ben Rhodes, Christian Eckes, Dean Thompson and Tanner Gray rounded out the top 10.

The 17-year-old phenom Zilisch started from pole position in his first ever start in one of NASCAR’s premier divisions. Leading the field, he went into the first corner hard, however, relinquishing the lead to Heim immediately. After a pit stop for tires and a motivational reminder from his veteran crew chief Brian Pattie, he returned with vengeance. He and his Spire Motorsports team never gave up, getting him back on the lead lap and then in contention late in the race.

Zilisch was running in fourth place with less than five laps in regulation to go but was given a pass-through penalty for cutting the course. Fortunately, it came just as a caution flew and it only cost the teenager two positions. He opted to pit for gas during the ensuing yellow flag and was able to climb back to that impressive top five finish in his first race.

Nick Sanchez won Stage 1 and Heim claimed Stage 2 – both drivers’ first stage victories of the year.

The NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series returns to competition April 5 with the Long John Silver’s 200 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (7:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Heim is the defending winner.


NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Race Number 5
Race Results for the XPEL 225 - Saturday, March 23, 2024
Circuit of The Americas - Austin, TX - 3.41 - Mile Paved


Total Race Length - 46 Laps - 156.86 Miles

Provided by NASCAR Statistics - Saturday, 3/23/2024 @ 04:21 PM Eastern

Fin Str Trk Driver Team Laps Stage 1 Pos Stage 2 Pos Pts Status Tms Laps Playoff Pts
1 2 11 Corey Heim Safelite Toyota 46  1 50 Running 6 31 6
2 3 17 Taylor Gray JBL Toyota 46  5 41 Running  
3 9 98 Ty Majeski Road Ranger Ford 46 2 2 52 Running 2 2
4 1 7 Connor Zilisch Austin Hatcher Foundation Chevrolet 46  6 38 Running  
5 5 45 Ross Chastain(i) TXAPA Chevrolet 46   0 Running  
6 6 1 Jack Hawksworth Mobil 1 Toyota 46  3 39 Running 1 1
7 34 99 Ben Rhodes TSPORT Trucks Ford 46 6 4 42 Running  
8 10 19 Christian Eckes NAPA Auto Care Chevrolet 46 5  35 Running 1 1
9 17 5 Dean Thompson Thompson Pipe Group Toyota 46  9 30 Running  
10 7 15 Tanner Gray ShopTRICON.com Toyota 46 3  35 Running 1 4
11 18 25 Ty Dillon Rackley Roofing Chevrolet 46 10  27 Running  
12 14 9 Grant Enfinger Champion Power Equipment Chevrolet 46   25 Running  
13 22 91 Jack Wood Klotz/Cometic Gasket Chevrolet 46 9  26 Running  
14 25 13 Jake Garcia Quanta Services Ford 46   23 Running  
15 11 71 Rajah Caruth HendrickCars.com Chevrolet 46  7 26 Running  
16 15 41 Bayley Currey AutoVentive/Precision Chevrolet 46   21 Running  
17 27 56 Timmy Hill Will's Automotive Toyota 46   20 Running  
18 4 2 Nick Sanchez Gainbridge Chevrolet 46 1  29 Running 1 4 1
19 19 75 Stefan Parsons Springrates Chevrolet 46   18 Running  
20 13 52 Stewart Friesen Halmar International Toyota 46   17 Running 1 2
21 29 22 Carter Fartuch Skip Barber Racing School Ford 46   16 Running  
22 16 77 Chase Purdy Bama Buggies Chevrolet 46 7  19 Running  
23 21 88 Matt Crafton Planters/Menards Ford 46 8 10 18 Running  
24 24 42 Matt Mills J.F. Electric/Utilitra Chevrolet 46   13 Running  
25 12 18 Tyler Ankrum LiUNA! Chevrolet 46 4 8 22 Running  
26 33 12 Dale Quarterley Van Dyk Recycling Toyota 45   11 Running  
27 8 38 Layne Riggs # Love's Travel Stops Ford 43   10 Running 1 1
28 23 43 Daniel Dye NAPA Nightvision Chevrolet 42   9 Running  
29 26 32 Bret Holmes Bret Holmes Racing Chevrolet 42   8 Running  
30 30 76 Spencer Boyd FR8 Factory Chevrolet 42   7 Running  
31 28 04 Marco Andretti Group 1001/CarQuest Chevrolet 40   6 Suspension  
32 35 46 Thad Moffitt # Induction Innovations Chevrolet 39   5 Running  
33 20 33 Lawless Alan AUTOChargit Ford 34   4 Rear Gear  
34 31 20 Vicente Salas Miramar Financial Group Chevrolet 33   3 Transmission  
35 32 02 Mason Massey RANDCO Chevrolet 32   2 Brakes  

Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 15 Mins, 26 Secs. Average Speed: 69.492 MPH Margin of Victory: 1.625 Seconds

Stage 1 Top 10: 2, 98, 15, 18, 19, 99, 77, 88, 91, 25
Stage 2 Top 10: 11, 98, 1, 99, 17, 7, 71, 18, 5, 88

Caution Flags: 6 for 10 laps; Laps: 4-5 (Debris (backstretch) [None]); 14-14 (Stage 1 Conclusion [7]); 23-24 (#33 Stopped on Track [04]); 28-28 (Stage 2 Conclusion [33]); 39-39 (#33 Stopped on Track [None]); 42-44 (Debris (Turn 11) [Red Flag - 4:35] [38]).

Lead Changes: 14 among 8 drivers; C. Zilisch 0; T. Gray 1-4; L. Riggs # 5; C. Heim 6-8; N. Sanchez 9-12; C. Eckes 13; C. Heim 14; J. Hawksworth 15; C. Heim 16-22; S. Friesen 23-24; C. Heim 25-27; T. Majeski 28; C. Heim 29-38; T. Majeski 39; C. Heim 40-46.

(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series

Next Race: April 5, 2024 - Martinsville Speedway

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