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Race report
NASCAR Truck Martinsville

Corey Heim wins rain-shortened Martinsville Truck race

Corey Heim won a rain-shortened NASCAR Truck race at Martinsville that featured the sport’s first use of wet weather tires on an oval track.

Race winner Corey Heim, TRICON Garage, Safelite Toyota Tundra

Heim, who drives the No. 11 Toyota for Tricon Garage, grabbed the lead from Kyle Busch on a restart at the end of Stage 1 and remained out front for what became a stop-and-go battle against the weather.

Heim was leading on Lap 116 when Carson Hocevar wrecked Taylor Gray on the backstretch which placed the race under caution. During the caution, the rain picked up and NASCAR eventually called the race official after 124 of the originally scheduled 200 laps.

The win is Heim’s first of the 2023 season and third of his career. He won twice while running a partial schedule last season with Kyle Busch Motorsports.

“The race was cut short and I feel like it’s definitely unfortunate but I feel like we were able to duke it out with Kyle and Zane (Smith),” Heim said. “We were so fast. The (truck) was phenomenal today.”

Heim said being able to get around and hold off Busch – the series’ all-time wins leader – “means everything.”

Busch ended up second, pole-winner Zane Smith was third, Ty Majeski was fourth and Tanner Gray rounded out the top-five.

The race was initially delayed by thunderstorms and for the first time in history, NASCAR started a race on an oval track with teams utilizing wet weather tires.

They ran the first 27 laps without incident until the track got dry and NASCAR threw a competition caution to allow teams to pit for normal tires.

NASCAR announced prior to the start of the 2023 season that it had approved the use of wet weather tires for “limited use” on several oval tracks across all three national series – Cup, Xfinity and Trucks.

The tires – different from those used at the series’ road courses – are cleared for use at Indianapolis Raceway Park, Martinsville, Milwaukee, New Hampshire, North Wilkesboro, Phoenix and Richmond.

Stage 3

Following the break between Stages 2 and 3, a handful of trucks decided to pit but Heim remained on the track and in the lead when the race resumed on Lap 106.

Daniel Dye spun in Turn 4 on Lap 110 and came to a stop on the track, which brought out the fifth caution of the race. The race returned to green on Lap 116.

Hocevar turned into Taylor Gray on the backstretch on Lap 116 to place the race back under caution. NASCAR immediately held Hocevar for two laps for intentionally wrecking a competitor.

 

While under the caution the rain picked up considerably and NASCAR displayed the red flag for the second time of the race after 124 laps.

Stage 2

Heim claimed the Stage 2 win under caution after Stewart Friesen spun with a flat tire in Turn 3 with four laps remaining.

Busch was second, Zane Smith third, Christian Eckes fourth and Tanner Gray rounded out the top-five.

Following the break between Stages 1 and 2, a handful of teams elected to pit but Heim remained on the track and in the lead.

NASCAR had to run the jet dryers down pit road to address wet spots which extended the caution period. Just as the race was set to resume, the rain returned and NASCAR halted the race following 67 laps.

After a nearly 25-minute delay, the race returned to green on Lap 72 with Heim out front, followed by Busch and Zane Smith.

Lawless Alan wrecked in Turn 4 on Lap 81 after contact with Dye to bring out the third caution of the race. Most of the lead-lap trucks remained on track and Heim led the way on the restart on Lap 87.

 

With 10 laps to go in the stage, Heim maintained a small lead over Busch with Zane Smith in third.

Friesen spun around in Turn 3 with a flat tire on Lap 96 to place the race back under caution, which ended the stage.

Stage 1

Heim passed Busch on a restart with six laps to go and held on to claim the Stage 1 win.

Zane Smith was third, Tanner Gray fourth and Eckes rounded out the top-five.

After a lengthy delay, the race finally got underway around 10 p.m. ET and featured the first-ever use of wet weather tires on an oval track.

Zane Smith started on the pole and remained out front until Kyle Busch went to his inside off Turn 2 and claimed the lead on Lap 6.

With 30 laps remaining in the stage, Busch had moved out to a 1.1-second lead over Heim as Tanner Gray ran third.

On Lap 28, NASCAR displayed a competition caution to allow teams to pit and remove the wet-weather tires as the track had nearly dried.

Teams were allowed to keep their track position, so Busch lined back up in the lead for the restart on Lap 44.

Heim powered past Busch off Turn 2 on the restart to move into the lead for the first time in the race.

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