HICKORY, N.C. – Corey Heim survived a couple early challenges to win Saturday’s CARS Late Model Stock Tour portion of the Race Face Tel-Med 300 at Hickory Motor Speedway.
The victory was worth $6,000 for the native of Marietta, Ga.
Heim started from the pole in his No. 78 entry prepared by Lee Pulliam Performance and he led the first 19 laps before giving way to Layne Riggs on the 20th circuit. The first caution flag of the evening waved on lap 32 when Jonathan Findley spun in turn two, setting up a restart with Riggs leading Heim back to the green flag.
Heim was able to capitalize during the restart, taking the lead back from Riggs, albeit for a short period of time. Riggs was able to snatch the lead back on lap 42, with Craig Moore also getting by Heim to move into third.
“I think the first half there was just kind of riding and feeling everyone out,” Heim said. “A lot of it was just seeing what the 99 (Riggs) had, seeing what the 15 (Ryan Millington) had and the other cars that were up there.”
A caution flag on lap 70 set up a restart with Riggs leading Moore and Heim. At that point Heim decided to take things up a notch and by lap 79 he was back in the lead and slowly pulling away.
Dillon Houser would go for a spin on lap 91, bringing out a caution flag with Heim still leading Riggs and Moore. Heim would hold serve on the ensuing restart, but behind him the battle for second through fifth was getting intense.
Millington, who won last weekend at Ace Speedway in CARS Late Model Stock Tour competition, began to make a charge to the front after restarting seventh on lap 91. He had just slipped by Riggs to take over second when Riggs gave Millington a shot in the rear bumper in turns three and four that sent Millington spinning to bring out the final caution flag of the race on lap 137.
Heim brought the field back to the green flag with 13 laps left, but he was never seriously challenged during the restart or the laps that followed. He eventually finished two seconds clear of Gage Painter, who charged through the pack late in the race to finish second.
“I knew if I had control of the race I could really just wait and take away their track position,” Heim said. “As soon as I had that I just set sail. That car was really, really good. Thanks to Lee Pulliam Performance.”
Nolan Pope, who earlier in the evening had finished sixth in the CARS Super Late Model Tour feature, finished third. Jared Fryar was fourth and Riggs faded to fifth at the checkered flag.
Corey Heim, Gage Painter, Nolan Pope, Jared Fryar, Layne Riggs, Craig Moore, Bobby McCarty, Brandon Pierce, Drew Dollar, Connor Mosack, Sam Butler, Deac McCaskill, Justin Johnson, Chad McCumbee, Trevor Ward, Adam Lemke, Tyler Matthews, Ronald Hill, Jonathan Findley, Jonathan Shafer, Jessica Cann, Matt Cox, Ryan Millington, Dillon Houser, Mini Tyrrell.