After several close calls throughout his young career, Corey Heim scored his first career Late Model Stock win on Saturday, taking the checkered flag with the CARS Late Model Stock Tour at Hickory Motor Speedway (NC).
Heim was a driver many teams had their eyes on Saturday. Heim was quickest in the second practice session, as well as the pole award winner for the 150-lap feature.
However, the Georgia racer knew it would take more than raw speed to win against a field of 25 top Late Model Stock competitors at “The Birthplace of the NASCAR Stars.”
“I knew it was going to be a chess match, but I just had to bide my time with my tires,” Heim told Speed51. “As soon as I really knew I had a shot to win, I knew I had to take control of the race.
“Lee Pulliam Performance brought a really great car this weekend. I can’t thank those guys enough.”
Heim lead laps early, but surrendered the lead to Layne Riggs after leading the first 20 laps. Heim and Riggs would exchange the lead on ensuing restarts, with Heim taking the lead for good just past the halfway mark.
Riggs started 10th in the 150 lap Late Model feature, but quickly navigated his way to the front of the field.
“We qualified 10th, one our worst qualifying efforts ever here, but had our best run here tonight,” said Riggs. “The car has been good here lately, my dad and these guys have really put in the effort at the shop.”
While Riggs would fade to fifth in the closing laps, the strong showing was enough to make him the unofficial CARS Late Model Stock Tour points leader leaving Hickory. Riggs needed six CARS Tour events to score his first top-five finish one year ago, but has not finished outside the top five in any of the first three races in 2020.
“After all our bad luck last year, it feels great to rebound and have strong finish. It gives us a good confidence boost for the rest of the season.”
Young gun Gage Painter moved up to second place in the final running order, taking advantage of a late restart to work his way around Riggs and hold off the likes of Nolan Pope and Jared Fryar. The strong finish was the byproduct of a busy weekend for Painter and his team.
“We got back from Ace last weekend and worked our tails off to have this car ready. It just shows that all the hard work we are putting in at the shop is starting to pay off. “
The next CARS Tour event will take place on July 4, as the series’ Super Late Models will compete in a co-sanctioned event with the ARCA/CRA Super Series at Jennerstown Speedway (PA). The CARS Late Model Stock Tour will be back in action July 11, at Carteret County Speedway (NC).
-Story by: Will Bellamy, Speed51 Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo
Unofficial Results – CARS Super Late Model Tour
Hickory Motor Speedway – June 13, 2020
- 78 – Corey Heim
- 12 – Gage Painter
- 1 – Nolan Pope
- 14 – Jared Fryar
- 99 – Layne Riggs
- 1M – Craig Moore
- 22 – Bobby McCarty
- 2 – Brandon Pierce
- 19 – Drew Dollar
- 8 – Connor Mosack
- 81B – Sam Butler
- 08 – Deac McCaskill
- 44 – Justin Johnson
- 16 – Chad McCumbee
- 77 – Trevor Ward
- 41 – Adam Lemke
- 63 – Tyler Matthews
- 74 – Ronald Hill
- 4 – Jonathan Findley
- 2S – Jonathan Shafer
- 19C – Jessica Cann
- 51 – Matt Cox
- 15 – Ryan Millington
- 11 – Dillon Houser
- 81 – Mini Tyrrell