After a strong 2019 racing season of learning and growth, Corey Heim entered the winter stretch brimming with confidence in his quest for a major Super Late Model win. The goal of getting that first victory at the Snowball Derby was dashed when his car quit before ever turning a lap under green flag racing at Five Flags Speedway.
Fast forward seven weeks and Heim already has a spring in his step entering the first major Late Model race of 2020, as he along with many of the top Super Late Model stars head to CRA SpeedFest at Watermelon Capital Speedway in Cordele, Georgia this coming weekend.
“I’ve been really looking forward to it, especially after what happened in Pensacola which is our most recent race. Just really good to get back in the seat for 2020 and improve on my result from last year,” Heim told Speed51.
Despite the bitter disappointment, Heim felt he was able to salvage much from the failed outing going into the new year.
“I feel like the whole weekend was a good learning experience for me, a lot of things were changing with my team for the better, and I got acclimated to the track a lot better. Even though we didn’t make a lap in practice, we made a lot of laps in practice, and got some qualifying experience. There are some takeaways that I can use going forward.”
SpeedFest 2020 will see Heim in new surroundings, as he joins forces with Jett Motorsports as a teammate to Stephen Nasse for the first time. So far, SpeedFest is the only race both parties have agreed to, with the possibility for more races being on the table. A lot of that will depend on how things progress on Friday and Saturday.
“We’re running with Jett Motorsports this weekend at Cordele. I’ve been learning a lot about them to get acclimated,” Heim stated. “They’re doing a really good job. We went and tested in Cordele last Thursday, I thought we had some good speed; didn’t really have anyone to compare to. But I feel like we got a good shot, as good as anyone else does. I feel that we got a good strategy together and if we run a smart race we’ll be in good shape.”
One thing that the home state kid will not have to worry about learning is the 3/8-mile Cordele oval itself.
“I consider it my home track, it’s a couple of hours away from home, but we really have nothing around my house. I’ve raced there a lot with Legend Cars and of course with Late Models. It’s nice not having to spend a whole day just driving to a race track, being able to wake up in your own home, and go straight there. It’s a special place for me, I always want to run well, and it would be great to get a trophy this time around.”
Following SpeedFest, Heim is gearing up for another first in his racing career. His first start with Venturini Motorsports in ARCA Menards Series competition. After running 13 races with Chad Bryant Racing in ARCA in 2019, Heim will run seven times with Venturini over the three ARCA tours in 2020. SpeedFest will be a good chance for the 17-year-old to get that one last bit of experience before jumping into the ARCA Menards Series East season opener on February 10 at New Smyrna Speedway.
“There’s a good couple of weeks of racing before the debut with Venturini at New Smyrna. Really excited for that for sure. It’ll be good to get some Late Model racing and some more seat time under my belt before I go racing with those guys.”
As for Heim’s Super Late Model schedule for the remainder of 2020, it has only begun to take form, but you can expect to see him at many of the major events along the East Coast and Midwest.
“We’re going to do a lot of the big races. Obviously, Cordele, we’re planning on doing Gresham, Bristol, Jennerstown, Winchester 400, and the Snowball Derby; those are our main events this year so far. As far as team goes, we don’t really know that yet past this weekend. Again, we’ll see how things go with Jett Motorsports this weekend and make our plans from there.”
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-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51